In Parkinson’s disease, the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra degenerate, resulting in dopaminergic deficit in its projection areas. These histological and neurochemical alterations are translated into most of the motor disorders that Parkinson’s patients present.
The current therapeutic strategies are based on drugs which improve dopaminergic neurotransmission. This therapeutic approach has long-term side-effects, such as fluctuations in motor response and diskynesias. Transplantation of fetal dopaminergic cells has shown some improvement in the clinical symptoms. Currently, new therapeutic strategies are being developed to stimulate endogenous neuronal substitution from neural precursors present in adult brain.
This work summarizes the studies showing the potential benefits of cellular therapy in Parkinson’s disease.