Dental Pulp Cells May Hold Key To Treatment Of Parkinson's Disease

Cells derived from the inside of a tooth might someday prove an effective way to treat the brains of people suffering from Parkinson's disease. A study in the May 1 issue of the European Journal of Neuroscience shows dental pulp cells provide great support for nerve cells lost in Parkinson's disease and could be transplanted directly into the affected parts of the brain. The study's lead author is Christopher Nosrat, an assistant professor of biological and materials sciences at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. This is not the first test of stem cells as a therapy for Parkinson's disease-type illnesses, known as neurodegenerative diseases, but Nosrat noted that it is the first to use post-natal stem cells grown from more readily available tooth pulp in the nervous system.

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