Article

The Ethical Issues of Trials of Neural Grafting in Patients with Neurodegenerative Conditions

Roger A. Barker and Alasdair Coles

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199570706.013.0118

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Ethical Issues of Trials of Neural Grafting in Patients with Neurodegenerative Conditions

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Effective treatments of neurodegenerative disorders are increasing in importance, as the prevalence of these conditions increases with an aging population. The ethical issues around the different uses of neural tissue are essentially the same. This article focuses on the specific example of Parkinson's disease (PD) where clinical transplantation trials are most advanced. The ethical issues generated by the transplantation of the fetal material can be categorized as those relating to the patient and physician, the trial design, and tissue. The article demonstrates that the primary goal of clinical studies of fetal transplantation should be to consolidate the technical issues around patient selection, graft preparation, and surgical delivery. Each of these areas present major problems and in some ways the field, still early in development, is defining the issues as it moves forward. The solution for these issues involves a wider discussion with governmental agencies that regulate much of this work and the society that they serve and protect.

Keywords: neurodegenerative disorders; ethical issues; Parkinson's disease; patient and physician; trial design; tissue

Article.  5724 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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