The cardinal physical signs of the disease are distal resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and asymmetric onset. Depression, dementia, and psychosis are common psychiatric problems associated with Parkinson's disease. The condition has an estimated prevalence of 0.3 percent in the adult population. The prevalence increases to 4 to 5 percent in those older than 85 years.
Pharmacological management of Parkinson's disease involves use of Levodopa, dopamine agonist drugs, catechol O-methyltransferase inhibitors, or monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors. However, long-term use of the pharmacological agents is limited by motor complications and drug-induced dyskinesia. Also, pharmacological and surgical therapies ameliorate clinical symptoms in the early stages of disease, but cannot stop or reverse degeneration of neurons. Deep brain stimulation has been shown to ameliorate symptoms temporarily in patients with advanced disease.
The rationale of the use of cellular therapy in Parkinson's disease is that autologous progenitor cells may have neurotrophic and neuroregenerative properties. These cells may have the potential to protect and stimulate regeneration of diseased neurons.