Stem Cell Progressive Supra-nuclear Palsy

Stem Cells Helping with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

Research has pointed strongly toward autologous adipose tissue-derived mesencymal stem cells (AdMSC‘s) as a treatment option for a number of neurological diseases. There is growing evidence that these cells can successfully differentiate into neurons in the brain, thereby protecting the brain against certain diseases of the central nervous system.

Stem Cells with PSP

Adipose tissue is particularly attractive when seeking to use mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) because it is easy to retrieve MSCs in this type of tissue. Now, a case study published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports demonstrates how AdMSC‘s were successfully used to treat a patient suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a disorder closely related to Parkinson’s disease.

There are currently no good treatment options for PSP. Dopaminergic drugs that are used for Parkinson’s disease are often implemented with PSP patients because of clinical similarities in these diseases. However, the benefits are both minor and short-lived.

Patient’s Case

As described in this case report, researchers successfully used a novel form of therapy on a 71-year old South Korean man with PSP. The man was examined before his treatment and continually for six months afterwards. The AdMSC protocol improved the patient’s performance on the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Rating Scale (PSPRS) and improved both his cognitive performance and his ability to conduct daily activities. In addition to the treatment’s efficacy, it also bore limited safety concerns, as mild fever and short-term elevated blood pressure were the only adverse side affects observed with the procedure.

The patient underwent four intrathecal and five intravenous infusions infusions of AdMSC’s to increase the chances of clinical efficacy. Specifically, the strategy of the intrathecal infusions was to increase the likelihood of getting the AdMSC’s into the central nervous system.

However, because the intrathecal cavity is narrow, the dosage that can be achieved through this route is limited. Thus, intravenous injections were administered as a way to increase the dosage amount. Though this success of AdMSC’s administration in PSP is just the beginning, it represents great potential for the use of stem cells in this rare but deadly disorder.


Choi, S.W., Park, K.B., Woo, S.K., Kang, S.K., & Ra, J.C. (2014). Treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy with autologous adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 8(87), 1-5.

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