Podcast Episode 113: Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

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Researchers have been investigating cell-based therapies for treating Parkinson’s disease (PD) for some time now, using a variety of materials and methods. Two approaches have been to implant dopamine-producing cells or to induce cells already in the brain to become dopamine-producers. We asked Dr. Roger Barker, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, to summarize what has been learned so far and based on that, to give his perspective on where the field may be headed. The field is still in the experimental stages, and he cautions about what people with PD should ask when considering entering a clinical trial of cell-based therapy and what they may expect in terms of symptom management and disease progression.

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About This Episode

Released: September 21, 2021

Headshot of Roger BarkerRoger Barker, BA, MBBS, MRCP, PhD

Roger Barker, BA, MBBS, MRCP, PhD is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Consultant Neurologist at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. He is a PI in the MRC-Wellcome Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge and Director of the MRC funded UKRMP Stem and Engineered cell hub.  

His research seeks to better define the clinical heterogeneity of two common neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS- namely Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). This has helped him define the best way by which to take new therapies into the clinic including novel experimental therapeutics such as cell and gene therapies. 

For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode “Gene-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease.

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For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.


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