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May 1989

Adrenal Medullary Transplantation to the Caudate Nucleus in Parkinson's Disease: Initial Clinical Results in 18 Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurological Surgery (Drs Allen and Tulipan), Neurology and Psychiatry (Dr Burns), and Preventive Medicine (Dr Parker), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(5):487-491. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520410021016

• Results from a pilot study of adrenal medullary autotransplantation for Parkinson's disease are presented. Eighteen patients were studied; 12 were followed up for 1 year, and 6 were followed up for 6 months. Four of 12 patients showed distinct improvement in the signs and symptoms of their disease, as assessed using the Columbia Rating Scale, at 1 year; none showed distinct deterioration. The 6 patients who were followed up for only 6 months were an average of 20 years older and generally more severely affected. None distinctly improved. Morbidity was considered to be minor and transient among the first 12 patients, while 4 of the last 6 patients experienced alteration in mental status lasting as long as several months. This problem has led us to conclude that older patients with preexisting cognitive impairment should not be included in future studies until the benefits are more clearly established. However, we believe that the distinct and persistent improvement seen in some of the younger patients warrants the initiation of a welldesigned, randomized, and controlled trial of adrenal medullary autotransplantation for the purpose of confirming these results and assessing the effect of the procedure on the natural progression of Parkinson's disease.

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