Parkinson’s treatment trial completed

New Zealand company Living Cell Technologies (LCT) have released the results of a small trial of a new Parkinson’s Disease treatment, indicating that their procedure is safe and may improve symptoms.

LCTThe company’s NTCELL product is based the around implantation of cells derived from pig brain tissue, which help to support neurological function.

The results of a four person trial of the treatment were announced at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in San Diego this week.

The researchers behind the trial found treatment was well tolerated, with no adverse events considered to be related to the procedure and cell implantation. NTCELL also improved clinical features of Parkinson’s disease in the four patients studied, as measured by validated neurological rating scales and questionnaires, with the improvement sustained at 26 weeks post-implant.

A full media release from the company is available here, and a poster from the conference outlining the initial results is available here.

The Science Media Centre collected the following commentary.

Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, comments:

“Although it is early days, LCT have provided preliminary data that NTCELL treatment improves the quality of life and possibly slows the progression of Parkinson’s disease in four patients with minimal side effects.  Further testing in a much larger population of patients is needed and will need to include “control implantations” to test for placebo effects. It will take at least another three years before NTCELL will be offered as a standard treatment, however, patients and their families should be optimistic.”