Dr. Marcel Daadi and Dr. Geoffrey Clarke were featured on Texas Public Radio for their work on Parkinson’s Disease.
Dr. Daadi, director of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at Texas Biomedical Research Institute and faculty at UT Health San Antonio, is working on developing precise methods for delivering stem cells to the brain.
With the help of imaging experts at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Daadi is using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRIs, to deliver the stem cells to the animals precisely where they need to go, safely and in the right quantity. With this technology, Daddi said the injection is accurate, very accurate, pinpointing the location with a margin of error less than a millimeter.
“So you can really see the area of disease you want to put these cells in,” Daddi said. “I believe it’s one of the key obstacles to really guarantee safety and efficacy to patients.”
Dr. Geoffrey Clarke, explained the stem cells are loaded with a small amount of a tracing agent. “When you inject the stem cells into the brain, the cell shows up as a black spot. So we know that the cells have gone there and we can even image them after and for several days and weeks following the procedure,” Clarke stated. “The cells don’t just stay in one place. They’re living and they’ll migrate and merge with cells in the brain to hopefully enhance their function. That’s the whole purpose of the treatment.”
Photo Credit: Wendy Rigby