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Navigating Treatment Options: Why Choose Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s? (AD)

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Every Parkinson’s treatment comes with advantages and disadvantages. If you or a loved one is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to explore all options and see which treatment option is the best fit.

Keep reading to learn about the different options for treating Parkinson’s, from conventional treatment methods to more innovative methods like stem cell therapy. 

Overview of Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms, Progression, and Impact

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating disease that affects a part of the brain responsible for producing dopamine. Parkinson’s disease causes a loss of neurons in this area, resulting in the following symptoms:

  • Tremors
  • Balance problems 
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slow movement
  • Impaired speech

Dopamine plays a role in mood and cognition. Therefore, Parkinson’s disease can also cause mood disorders and cognitive impairment. People with Parkinson’s may also develop dementia.

The disease typically starts with mild symptoms but can develop into a debilitating disease that significantly impacts a person’s quality of life and limits their ability to perform everyday tasks.

The Need for Innovative Treatment Approaches

There’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are a range of options for Parkinson’s treatment. Non-invasive therapies like physiotherapy can help people with Parkinson’s, but they don’t focus on restoring damaged neurons and slowing disease progression. Other treatments, like medication, have side effects.

Conventional Treatment Methods for Parkinson’s

Therapy and lifestyle changes 

Lifestyle changes, physiotherapy and speech therapy can help people with Parkinson’s. In terms of lifestyle changes, people with Parkinson’s disease must have:

  • Regular exercise
  • A healthy, balanced diet
  • Proper sleep

Physiotherapy can help patients cope with symptoms such as muscle stiffness and slow movement. Speech therapy can help people with Parkinson’s overcome speech impairments.

Medication

Medications for Parkinson’s disease focus on regulating dopamine, as the disease affects the area of the brain responsible for the production of this neurotransmitter.

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Since it acts on parts of the brain responsible for dopamine production, medication can reduce Parkinson’s symptoms. However, some medications come with serious side effects. For example, Levodopa may cause uncontrollable jerky muscle movements.

Surgery

If medication fails to help patients with Parkinson’s disease, surgery may be the next option. Various types of surgery can reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but only 10% of people with Parkinson’s are candidates for surgery.

Deep brain stimulation is a common surgery for people with Parkinson’s disease. With this surgery, a deep brain stimulator is implanted in brain tissues. The stimulator sends signals to disable overactive cells. 

Understanding Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy has great potential in treating Parkinson’s. Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy uses stem cells obtained from healthy donors or the recipient. MSCs are injected into the body, producing a wide range of bioactive molecules with neuroprotective and immunomodulating properties. 

While conventional treatment methods focus on regulating dopamine and reducing symptoms, stem cell therapy repairs damaged neurons and creates new, healthy neurons.

According to stem cell research for Parkinson’s disease, MSC therapy is safe and MSCs are obtained from the umbilical cord, placenta, blood marrow or fat tissue of an adult donor, eliminating any ethical concerns.

Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s

MSC therapy for Parkinson’s restores damaged neurons, which are the root of the disease. By restoring neurons and promoting the growth of new ones, stem cell therapy can slow the progression of the disease.

MSCs also have immunomodulating properties that reduce neuroinflammation in Parkinson’s patients. MSC therapy is a non-invasive treatment with very few associated side effects. 

Considering Stem Cell Therapy: Patient Perspective and Next Steps

If patients recognize the benefits of stem cell therapy and want to try the treatment, they can contact a stem cell therapy treatment center such as Swiss Medica for a pre-treatment evaluation.

The doctor will check up on the patient and the severity of the disease with the help of blood tests, imaging scans, and functional tests. The doctor is also going to search for any contraindication, meaning a treatment risk, with the help of evaluation before treatment, which can also help the doctors in making an effective treatment plan.

In conclusion

Before opting for the course of treatment for Parkinson’s disease, weigh the pros and cons. A healthy diet, exercise, and other non-invasive treatments have very low or no risk at all. The drugs or surgeries may be able to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s, but they also come with side effects.

Stem cell therapy could offer an emerging, successful treatment option for Parkinson’s, which would not just include non-invasive therapy but also therapy that restores deteriorated neurons. A breakthrough in therapy must be able to slow down the progression of the disease in some cases, or the progression of the disease must be stopped altogether.

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