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The current interest and scientific progress in progenitor and stem cell biology has funneled a major scientific endeavor in the
field of neural development and repair, with intriguing new insights into cellular differentiation and integration under normal
as well as pathological conditions. In particular, the development of neuronal progenitor grafts towards a transplantation therapy
in Parkinson?s and Huntington?s disease (PD, HD) has received a widespread interest. Firstly, there is a substantial body of evidence
about the structural and functional anatomy of the neurotransmitter systems (dopamine and GABA) during development and in
the adult central nervous system. Secondly, current clinical transplantation protocols for patients with PD and HD are profoundly
limited e.g. by the use of fresh embryonic graft material derived from human abortions and by uneven and ectopic graft-derived
innervation. Thirdly, more than 20-years of experimental experience with neuronal grafts in well characterized animal models of
PD and HD have accumulated now a significant body of knowledge about DA grafts survival, integration and functional recovery.
Currently there is a active scientific debate about a number of important topics, such as (i) can fetal neuronal grafts reverse
clinical symptoms of PD and HD, (ii) are age and/or clinical status of the patient relevant prognostic factors and (iii) what are the
underlying mechanisms for graft-induced improvements and potential side effects after transplantation. This talk will focus on
our own experimental and clinical experience and will be directed towards the further progress in this novel and exciting field of
restorative neurobiology and neurosurgery.
Guido Nikkhah has completed his M.D. and Ph.D from the University of Giessen (Germany) and Lund (Sweden), respectively. He has been a
neurosurgeon and neuroscientist at the Medical High School of Hanover for 10 years. He is currently the director of the Division of Stereotactic and
Functional Neurosurgery in Freiburg. Hi major interests are novel functional neurosurgical procedures such as neural transplantation and deep brain
stimulation in movement disorders. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed international journals, where he also serves as an editorial
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