Skip to Content


MDS makes every effort to publish accurate information on the website. "Google Translate" is provided as a free tool for visitors to read content in one's native language. Translations are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. Neither MDS nor its employees assume liability for erroneous translations of website content.

International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
Main Content

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) Continues to Caution Against Unproven Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson's Disease

Embargoed until: February 9, 2021 

Media Contact: 
Elizabeth Clausen 
Tel: +1 (414) 276-2145 

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) Continues to Caution Against Unproven Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson's Disease 

MILWAUKEE, WI – The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society’s Scientific Issues Committee (MDS-SIC), led by Stella Papa and Un Jung Kang, has commissioned a brief review of the current place of cell-based therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD), and ultimately encourages patients to participate only in cell therapy studies that are part of a research program affiliated with a recognized academic or clinical institution. 

Theoretically, cell-based therapies, including the use of stem cells, could be used to replace or repair the cells lost or damaged in the disease process, thereby improving symptoms. While advances in cell-based research may ultimately provide potential new therapies for patients with PD, science has yet to fully establish a number of challenging aspects of stem cell therapy including specific cell type, method of administration, clinical effect and long-term safety. 

Several business enterprises worldwide offer ‘stem cell therapies’ for PD, making unsubstantiated claims of considerable benefit to the patient. Due to the potential for very serious side effects, the Society cautions patients to avoid any treatments carried out without adequate scientific research, and encourages patients to participate only in cell therapies affiliated with a recognized research institution. 

MDS President, Claudia Trenkwalder, adds, “This timely statement is an excellent scientific summary of the risks for persons with Parkinson’s disease when selecting a treatment offering which is not scientifically, but purely economically driven. MDS hopes to stop this practice by educating the public on the importance of participating only in studies at accredited research institutions.” 

Read the full MDS statement and position paper cautioning against unproven cell-based therapies for Parkinson's disease. 

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society: The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), an international society of over 10,000 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit   

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience with our website. These cookies are also used to ensure we show you content that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies to improve your user experience. You can click the cookie settings link on our website to change your cookie settings at any time. Note: The MDS site uses related multiple domains, including and This cookie policy only covers the primary and domain. Please refer to the MDS Privacy Policy for information on how to configure cookies for all other domains on the MDS site.
Cookie PolicyPrivacy Notice