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Best Life: New treatment slowing the progression of Parkinson’s

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 8:10 AM CDT
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HOUSTON, Tx. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s and 60,000 are in the U.S. It’s a chronic, progressive disease that is classified as neuro-degenerative, which means it changes and continues to get worse over time. But a new therapy, currently in trials, is proving to be a game-changer.

For Marie Bott, a few years ago this was impossible.

“It’s nice to know I’m not flaring my arms around,” Marie Bott told Ivanhoe.

Ten years ago, Marie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and as the disease progressed, she wasn’t able to do the things she loves.

“I totally lost my ability to swim. When I tried to swim, I would just go right to the bottom,” Marie noted.

But then Marie was referred to a trial using stem cells to treat Parkinson’s.

“This kind of treatment approach will actually address maybe halting the progression of the disease, which would be very powerful,” Mya Schiess, MD, director of the Movement Disorder Subspecialty Clinic at UTHealth Neurosciences Neurology, shared.

In the trial, Parkinson’s patients are injected with a single dose of stem cells with varying concentrations from a healthy adult’s bone marrow. Then they are followed for a year after the infusion. All the patients had improvements in motor function, reduction in inflammatory markers in the blood, and an increased ability to perform daily functions. Marie says the infusion of stem cells also had a surprising side effect.

“My skin became much younger looking, so much so that friends said to me had I changed my beauty regimen because I didn’t appear to be so wrinkled,” Marie exclaimed.

But she mostly credits the treatment for allowing her to continue her daily activities, like making breakfast and walking her dog.

Marie proclaimed, “It just makes for a happier, more productive life, if you can do the things you like to do.”

Good news for Marie, since this story aired Marie has been able to get back to swimming. Dr. Schiess says the phase one trial is the first of its kind done in the United States with FDA approval. A phase two trial is already in the works and started recruiting back in March. Dr. Schiess says that patients from the first trial, like Marie, are not able to participate in this trial.

Contributors to this news report include: Jenna Ehrlich, Producer; Milvionne Chery, Producer; Bruce Maniscalco, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.

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