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Science Brief: Human Stem Cells used to treat Parkinson’s

Researchers have used stem cells obtained from human embryos to successfully treat Parkinson’s disease in mice and rats, a key step in the quest to develop a similar approach for people.


In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists described how they converted human embryonic stem cells into nerve cells that produced the brain chemical dopamine.


The Bottom Line: When these nerve cells were transplanted into the brains of mice and rats, they released dopamine and got rid of the animals’ Parkinson’s symptoms. The cells were also successfully transplanted into rhesus monkeys, whose biology is closer to that of humans.