Dennis was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and by early 1991 he suffered extreme shaking of the right side of his body and became unable to use his right arm. Neurosurgeon Dr. Michele Levesque removed a small tissue sample from Mr. Turner’s brain, and isolated adult neural stem cells. He multiplied and matured these cells into nerve cells, and injected them back into the left side of Mr. Turner’s brain, which controls the right side of the body.
Soon afterwards, the Parkinson’s symptoms began to improve in his right side. His trembling decreased, until to all appearances it disappeared. Neurological evaluation indicated a marked improvement in his symptoms, which lasted for about 5 years.
Because Parkinson’s is a progressive ailment, his condition is continuing to deteriorate, but as Mr. Turner recently testified at a U.S. Senate Committee hearing, “…I have no doubt that because of this treatment I’ve enjoyed five years of quality life that I feared had passed me by.” He enthusiastically expressed a willingness to undergo a repeat surgery of this sort to further slow the progression of his symptoms.