In His April 13 Guest Viewpoint Explaining His Vote in Support of Federally Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Sen. Gordon Smith Wrote about Family Members Who Had Died of Parkinson's Disease

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), April 20, 2007 | Go to article overview

In His April 13 Guest Viewpoint Explaining His Vote in Support of Federally Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Sen. Gordon Smith Wrote about Family Members Who Had Died of Parkinson's Disease


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Gayle Atteberry For The Register-Guard

In his April 13 guest viewpoint explaining his vote in support of federally funded embryonic stem cell research, Sen. Gordon Smith wrote about family members who had died of Parkinson's disease. It is painful to watch a loved one suffer from any incurable disease, including Parkinson's, diabetes and others.

However, when it comes to finding cures for these diseases, there is no need to resort to research that requires the destruction of human embryos. Adult stem cells from sources such as bone, blood, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid are proving to be highly versatile and successful in curing diseases.

The newest breakthrough for a diabetes cure is light years ahead of any possible cure through embryonic stem cell research. The April Journal of American Medical Association reports on a study from the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit of the School of Medicine of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. Thirteen out of 15 patients no longer require daily insulin shots following bone marrow stem cell transplants.

In another study, the February 2005 Journal of Neurosurgery reported significant improvements in 10 Parkinson's patients injected with a protein to stimulate brain cell growth.

In fact, more than 72 diseases have now been cured or significantly controlled with adult stem cells.

Much is said about the `potential' of embryonic stem cell research. Its track record so far is dismal, with its `potential' unrealized. After almost 10 years of research on animals, not one cure has been found, or significant progress made.

One of embryonic stem cell research's major problems is the cells' propensity to produce tumors in test animals. Recently, researchers from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine cautioned patients against being overly eager for cures because embryonic stem cell research remains in its infancy and potential treatments are many years away. They warn that the public and press have exaggerated the nearness of successful embryonic stem cell research (San Jose Mercury News, "Institute report says usable treatments are years away," Oct. …

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