Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Michael J. Fox Backs Away From Stem Cell Cure for Parkinson's

It was not exactly a case of "Back to the Future," the hit movie starring Michael J. Fox, but it did offer a reflection on the past.

It involves the actor's changing views on stem cell research in connection with Parkinson's disease, which he has had since the 1990s.

Fox's 2004 Ad
Early on, Fox was well-known for his support of human embryonic stem cell research. ABC News recently described him as having become "one of the country’s most visible advocates for stem cell research." In California, Fox was a prominent promoter of the ballot initiative, Proposition 71, that created the $3 billion California stem cell agency in 2004. "

He filmed a TV commercial that was aired widely during the 2004 campaign to create the stem cell agency, declaring,
 "It could save the life of someone you love."
Today he is considerably less confident. In an interview last week with ABC, he cited "problems along the way." Fox said,
“It’s not so much that [stem cell research has] diminished in its prospects for breakthroughs as much as it’s the other avenues of research have grown and multiplied and become as much or more promising. So, an answer may come from stem cell research but it’s more than likely to come from another area.”
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