NEW YORK, December 3, 2002 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In what is being described as the death knell for the use of aborted baby tissue in Parkinson’s treatment, a second study has had catastrophic results debilitating permanently many of the human subjects involved. A recent study conducted by Warren Olanow, a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that of the 23 Parkinson’s patients who received transplants of aborted foetal tissue, 13 developed severe uncontrollable movements. While the results of the study are only to be published in a medical journal early next year, the news has spread quickly among the scientific community which was eagerly awaiting the results of this study which many had hoped would refute similar findings from a previous study. A study published in the March 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the treatment had “disastrous side effects.” The results have prompted researchers including Dr. Paul Greene, a neurologist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, to back out of work in the area. “No more foetal transplants. We are absolutely and adamantly convinced that this should be considered for research only. And whether it should be researched in people is an open question,” said Greene.
In 15 per cent of the patients who underwent an embryonic stem cell treatment, the cells began producing too much dopamine, causing patients to “chew constantly” and “writhe and twist, jerk their heads, fling their arms about.” Greene remarked that the results are “absolutely devastating ... It was tragic, catastrophic. It’s a real nightmare. And we can’t selectively turn it off,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal indicates that the news will come as a major disappointment to groups which have put millions of dollars into funding the controversial treatment such as the Michael J. Fox foundation. However, even formerly strong proponents of the treatment are admitting it is time to quit. “This is a surprising result that forces reconsideration of transplantation without a great deal more research,” said Anthony Lang, a Parkinson’s expert at Toronto Western Hospital in Canada. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 3, 2002) See related LifeSite coverage: STUDY DEMONSTRATES ‘CATASTROPHIC’ SIDE EFFECT OF FOETAL TISSUE TRANSPLANTS http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2001/mar/01030801.html