Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Fetal Tissue Transplantation; Parkinson Disease


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common progressive neurological disorder. It affects the central nervous system by depleting the basal ganglia of dopamine. To date, the standard treatment is drug therapy to replace the lacking dopamine. However, this treatment is problematic as there are many side effects to the drugs. Also, this treatment does not effect the progression of this disease. Therefore, drug therapy becomes continuously less effective in treating PD. For this reason, new forms of therapy are being researched for the treatment of advanced PD. One of the most recent therapeutic interventions is fetal tissue transplantation.

The purpose of the independent study is to review literature regarding fetal tissue transplantation in PD. This study will include a brief overview of the pathophysiology and current treatment methods for PD. Also, an overview of the history of neural transplantation for PD will be presented. In addition, the paper will include a discussion of the ethical and legal issues surrounding fetal tissue transplantation.

Physical therapists (PT) treat many patients with PD. In the future, PT's maybe responsible for rehabilitating PD patients following fetal tissue transplantation surgery. This paper may be used as a tool by PT's to gain a greater understanding of a very innovative research technique.