Combined striatal and SNc grafts are reported to provide enhanced behavioral benefits in complex tasks in animal models of PD in comparison to intrastriatal grafts alone (Baker et al., 2000). This approach theoretically provides for dopamine reinnervation of the striatum as well as regions of the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex that receive dopaminergic inputs from the SNc. Mendez and colleagues transplanted fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue into both the striatum and the SNc in a small numbers of PD patients and reported clinical benefits along with increased striatal FD uptake on
PET in an open label study (Mendez et al., 2002). At autopsy, surviving transplanted cells were detected in both the striatum and the SNc and stained positively for TH, G-protein-coupled inward rectifying current potassium channel type 2 (Girk2), and cal-bindin. The procedure was well tolerated with no side-effects related to implantation into the mid-brain. Off-medication dyskinesias were not recorded. The magnitude of clinical improvement and degree of survival of implanted neurons was similar to that reported in previously reported studies. Doubleblind trials are required to confirm these results.
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