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Rare transplant for Parkinson’s at city hospital

The doctors of city’s Jaslok Hospital have performed a rare stem cell transplant for Parkinson’s disease. The transplant was performed on 54-year-old Bhanwarlal Jain who has been suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
August 21, 2009 1:52:27 am

The doctors of city’s Jaslok Hospital have performed a rare stem cell transplant for Parkinson’s disease. The transplant was performed on 54-year-old Bhanwarlal Jain who has been suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease.

While the doctors who performed the transplant said that they will monitor the patient for the next 18 months before terming it a ‘success’,Jain said the transplant has helped him regain his voice.

Jain was diagonsed with Parkinson’s disease — a degenerative ailment of the brain that often impairs motor skills,speech and other functions— 12 years ago. Despite treatment,his condition slowly deteriorated. “I was working then But had to quit due to spondilitis and severe pain in the joints. Slowly,I stopped walking and almost became dumb,” said Jain,who had to retire from business due to the illness.

In February this year,he came in contact with neurosurgeons at Jaslok Hospital,following which he volunteered to undergo trials for stem cell transplant. A team of doctors,including neurosurgeons and neurophysicians,carried out the complex surgery on Jain. “The stem cells that were used were derived from the patient’s bone marrow. They were then grown and processed at the stem cell processing facility of Reliance Life Sciences at Navi Mumbai. Once processed,they were brought back to Jaslok Hospital where they were implanted in the patient’s brain by stereotactic surgery. The whole procedure took three weeks,” said Dr Paresh Doshi,head of the stereotactic and functional neurosurgery department at the hospital.

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Elaborating on the surgery,he said,“Under the influence of local anesthesia,two burr holes are made in the head,through which microscopic amounts of autologous mesenchymal stem cells are injected. About 100 shots of stem cell were injected. As these cells are from the patient’s own bone marrow there is no potential of rejection,and side effects are also negated as they can multiply only for a limited time.”

Jaslok Hospital and Reliance Life Sciences have partnered for 10 such cases and the results of these will be evaluated over a period of three years. “We are not claiming that we have successfully operated the patient as a thorough evaluation of the patient will be done for 18 months. But Jaslok Hospital is the first one to use stem cell for Parkinson’s disease in a proper clinical setup in the world,” said Dr Doshi. Jain,however,says he is feeling better. “I am glad that I can talk normally,” he said.

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