Therapy With Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Parkinson Disease: History and Perspectives

Neurologist. 2018 Jul;23(4):141-147. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0000000000000188.


Background: Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting the basal nuclei, causing motor and cognitive disorders. Bearing in mind that standard treatments are ineffective in delaying the disease progression, alternative treatments capable of eliminating symptoms and reversing the clinical condition have been sought. Possible alternative treatments include cell therapy, especially with the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

Review summary: MSC are adult stem cells which have demonstrated remarkable therapeutic power in parkinsonian animals due to their differentiation competence, migratory capacity and the production of bioactive molecules. This review aims to analyze the main studies involving MSC and PD in more than a decade of studies, addressing their different methodologies and common characteristics, as well as suggesting perspectives on the application of MSC in PD.

Conclusions: The results of MSC therapy in animal models and some clinical trials suggest that such cellular therapy may slow the progression of PD and promote neuroregeneration. However, further research is needed to address the limitations of an eventual clinical application.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*