The project involved 20 patients over 40 years severely affected by a particular form of this pathology.
The Clinical Institutes of Improvement and the Polyclinic of Milan have joined in an experimentation on the use of stem cells for the treatment of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) or Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome, a particularly serious and aggressive form of parkinsonism, which has a prevalence of approximately 6.5 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants and an incidence of 5.3 new cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.
Cells taken from the patients' marrow were used, which will then be cleaned, cultivated and re infused with the aim of repairing brain lesions. In fact, PSP causes a degeneration of the nerve cells that regulate normal movements: for this reason, those who are affected have motor and reflex difficulties. "The stem cells administered - explains Rosaria Giordano, technical director of the Cell Factory 'Franco Calori' of the Polyclinic of Milan - manage to reach the brain areas affected by the disease and positively influence the surrounding tissue, reducing cell death. This method can 'result important to be able to slow down the progression of the disease ".
The first results were encouraging after 6 months from the start of the experimentation and, as positive, they stopped the phenomenon of the travels of hope abroad for the treatments: currently, in fact, at least one patient out of two asks to be able to go beyond the border to experience treatments that are presented as miraculous; those who really manage to leave are only 10%, mainly directed to Germany, South America and China.
In addition to the exorbitant costs of these treatments (ranging from 10 thousand to 40 thousand euros per session) the risk is to incur therapies that not only do not work, but make the situation worse. For this reason the Milanese research, conducted by Gianni Pezzoli (Director of the ICP) with Rosaria Giordano and Maurizio Isalberti (from the Policlinico), assumes an important relevance: "This clinical trial represents an important scientific goal - explains Gianni Pezzoli - The priority objective is to respond to the needs of patients suffering from this serious pathology, but in perspective this study can open new avenues in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, starting right from Parkinson ". http://www.cellfactorymilano.com/lang1/index.html