Placebo

Pig Brain Cells May Reduce Parkinson’s in Humans

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Before New Zealand biotech company Living Cell Technologies can be sure of what they’re seeing, they need to do some placebo testing, but they seem to have discovered something that could offer new hope to sufferers of Parkinson’s disease. It has to do with cells taken from pathogen-free pigs descended from a herd discovered in the remote sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands. Preliminary tests suggest that when the cells are implanted in people, they may alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s.

aukland island pigs

Living Cell Technologies has a product called NTCELL®, which is an seawaeed-alginate-coated capsule that contains clusters of neonatal porcine choroid plexus cells. The cells are coated with another one of the company’s products, IMMUPEL™ to protect them from attack by the immune system of subjects into which they’ve been implanted.

NTCELL

According to the company:

Choroid plexus cells are naturally occurring “support” cells for the brain and secrete cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which contains a range of factors that support nerve cell functions and protective enzymes that are crucial for nerve growth and healthy functioning.

Living Cell’s Ken Taylor tells New Scientist, “It’s putting in a little neurochemical factory to promote new nerve cell growth and…