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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 2 (1991), Issue 3-4, Pages 157-164

Autologous Adrenal Medullary, Fetal Mesencephalic, and Fetal Adrenal Brain Transplantation in Parkinson's Disease: A Long-Term Postoperative Follow-Up

1Department of Clinical Research in Neurology and Neurosurgery, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Medico Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico City, Mexico
2Department of Biochemistry, Instituto Nacional de la Nutricion “Salvador Zubiran”, Mexico City, Mexico
3Department of Psychophysiology, Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Copyright © 1991 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report on the clinical status of 5 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) 3 years after autologous adrenal medullary (AM)-to-caudate nucleus (CN) implanfion, and of 2 PD patients, 2 years after fetal ventral mesencephalon (VM)- and fetal adrenal (A)-to-CN homotransplantation. Current clinical evaluation of 4 of the AM grafted patients revealed sustained bilateral amelioration of their PD signs, most notably of rgidity, postural imbalance and gait disturbances, resulting in a substantial improvement in their quality of life. the disease-related dystonia of one of them disappeared only 2 years after surgery. The levodopa requirements of 2 of these patients and the anticholinergic therapy of another have been reduced. In agreement with the satisfactory clinical evaluation of these 4 patients, their neuropsychological and electrophysiological improvements, initially registered 3 months after surgery, have been maintained for 3 years. After 1 year of significant recovery, the 5th patient of this group has almost returned to her preoperative state.

The 2 homotransplanted patients also showed sustained bilateral improvement of their PD signs. Two years after surgery, the most improved signs of the fetal VM case were rigidity, bradykinesia, postural imbalance, gait disturbances and facial expression. The fetal A case has only shown amelioration of rigidity and bradykinesia. Neither of them has shown significant neuropsychological changes. Their current levodopa requirements are less than before surgery.

The improvements shown here by PD patients after brain tissue grafts go beyond those obtained using any other therapeutic approach, when levodopa fails. Although more studies and the development of these procedures are obviously required, these initial human trials appear to be resisting the test of time.