Advances in neurotrophic factor and cell-based therapies for Parkinson's disease: A mini-review
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Parkinson's disease (PD) affects an estimated 7-10 million people worldwide and remains without definitive or disease-modifying treatment. There have been many recent developments in cell-based therapy (CBT) to replace lost circuitry and provide chronic biological sources of therapeutic agents to the PD-affected brain. Early neural transplantation studies underscored the challenges of immune compatibility, graft integration and the need for renewable, autologous graft sources. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) offer a potential class of cytoprotective pharmacotherapeutics that may complement dopamine (DA) replacement and CBT strategies in PD. Chronic NTF delivery may be an integral goal of CBT, with grafts consisting of autologous drug-producing (e.g., DA, NTF) cells that are capable of integration and function in the host brain. In this mini-review, we outline the past experience and recent advances in NTF technology and CBT as promising and integrated approaches for the treatment of PD.