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Scientists claim breakthrough in Parkinson's cure

November 10, 2011 09:35 IST

Australian scientists have claimed breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease by allowing the body to produce dopamine using stem cells.

An ABC report quoted Lachlan Thompson of University of Melbourne saying that scientists have now found a way to identify and separate the therapeutic cells from the dangerous ones.

"We have made some recent progress in that area by identifying novel molecules on the therapeutic cells that allow us to target them and essentially pull them out and purify them," he said.

"I think that will really potentially be an important breakthrough on the road to clinical translation. Once this safety issue is resolved we are really going to be much closer; and there is no reason to think it couldn't happen within the next five to 10 years, and there's no reason to think it couldn't happen in Australia," Thompson said.

Until now, treatment of the disease has been very risky due to the possibility of some of the stem cells becoming carcinogenic.

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