The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease begin slowly. Movement changes like tremors and stiffness can develop over the years, often preceded by subtle signs like anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and loss of smell. Over time, everyday activities like walking, speaking, and eating can become difficult without assistance.
Parkinson’s disease affects more than one million patients and their families in the United States alone. While that number continues to rise, there is still no proven therapy to slow or stop the disease. By making a gift today, you can help Mya Schiess, MD, and her team of experts change the story of Parkinson’s disease. Together, we can change lives.
As the creator and director of the movement disorder training program and clinic at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and UTHealth Neurosciences, Dr. Schiess is leading the first Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial using mesenchymal stem cells—which are derived from the bone marrow of healthy adult volunteers—to “switch off” brain inflammation associated with Parkinson’s disease. By eliminating inflammation, these cells may help reestablish a healthy brain environment, potentially slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Phase I of the clinical trial concluded in 2019, and Dr. Schiess determined that the mesenchymal stem cell treatment was safe for patients with Parkinson’s disease. She also found evidence that the therapy may have reduced markers of inflammation.
Building on this success, Dr. Schiess and her team are embarking on phase II of the trial to determine the most effective interval of mesenchymal stem cells infusions. However, the team needs your support to complete the clinical trial, which will take two more years.
Your generosity today will help bring this groundbreaking trial one major step closer to helping patients in need. Through a gift of any size, you can ensure that Dr. Schiess and her team have the resources necessary to complete phase II and potentially change the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease and their families.