A news item on how Rasheda Ali works to find Parkinson’s cure through stem cells describes how stem cell research is being counted on to come up with a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. This disease affects almost a million Americans to date, with famous celebrities like Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox included in the growing list.
Rasheda Ali is the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. She has embarked on a mission to bring stem cell therapy to improve the symptoms of those afflicted with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.
She describes the early days of watching her father become afflicted with the dreaded illness, and compares the lack of resources back then to present-day circumstances:
“It’s really nice that now we have so many resources and materials and information.But back in the ‘80s, we had nothing. We were literally embarking on this tragedy, because we didn’t know what we were going into. It was hard for us.”
And though things appear to move at a glacial pace for those who have Parkinson’s, plus their loved ones who suffer along with them, more and more biotech companies are expressing hope that they will soon come up with something to alleviate the symptoms and slow down the degenerative properties of the disease. The bottom line is to help these patients live a normal and functional life as possible, along with physical therapy and the support of family and friends.
Once a cure is proven to be effective, it can, in turn, pave the way for cures for other neurocognitive diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
To date, results of recent experiments on the therapeutic use of human
parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSCs) in Parkinson’s disease are currently being presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans (April 21
to 28 2012) by senior scientists of the International Stem Cell Corporation. Progress reports on pre-clinical studies conducted among rodents are part of the conference.