NEW YORK, Mar 8, 2001 ( – A study released in today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the experimental treatment for Parkinson’s disease, which uses implants from the brain cells of aborted babies, has “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.

See the study in the NEJM and coverage in the Omaha World Herald at: