Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Becomes Canada’s First MS Stem Cell Clinical Trial.

The University of Ottawa trial infuses MSCs to reduce inflammation in the central nervous systems of MS patients.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada has funded Canada’s first stem cell clinical trial to treat multiple sclerosis, conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa. The trial, called MESCAMS [Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Canadian MS patients], will comprise MSC infusions to the central nervous system to utilize their ability to regulate autoimmune attacks and reduce inflammation in 40 MS patients. Continue reading

CRISPR Advances Genetic Disease Treatment with Stem Cells.

CRISPR may change the way scientists incorporate stem cells for translational genomics.

Scientists led by Dr. Craig Mello of The University of Massachusetts have developed a genetic tool – CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats] – to revolutionize the way stem cells are applied to treat genetic diseases, such as sickle cell or thalassemia.  CRISPR aims to expedite and improve upon the process of translational genomics, in which the patient’s stem cells are extracted, altered to repair the damaged gene, and then transplanted back to the patient. Continue reading

Gel-Like Polymers May Improve Stem Cell-Based Therapies.

Scientists are developing a polymeric gel to protect stem cells from trauma during transplant injections.

Complex chemical polymers are currently being developed by scientists at Stanford University to protect and support the proliferation of stem cells during spinal cord transplantation procedures.  The gels are designed to provide padding for the cells during injection, while also varying in viscosity and the biochemical signals contained within to offer stem cells an optimal environment for differentiation. Continue reading

New York Times: The Eruption of Stem Cell Therapies.

Mr. Edgar Irastorza is one of thousands of people already benefiting from the progression of stem cell based therapies.

As reported on the front page of the New York Times Science section, clinical applications of stem cell based therapies are accelerating at a rate that will revolutionize the medical field in a matter of years.  In the United States alone, there are currently over 4000 therapies in clinical trials for the treatment of heart disease, blindness, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, H.I.V., and other diseases, injuries, and traumas. Continue reading

ALS Research Capitalizes on Stem Cells.

A recent Mt. Sinai study for ALS is set to enter phase one clinical trials.

Researchers at the Cedars-Mt. Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, led by Dr. Robert H. Baloh, have devised a method to study and develop potential treatments for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS] by utilizing patients’ stem cell-derived neurons.  In an example of what is referred to as translational genomics, researchers extract autologous (the patient’s own) stem cells, correct the defective gene causing the disease, and then, in a potential treatment protocol, transplant the cells back into the patient to reverse neural degeneration. Continue reading

Motor Neuron Development Accelerated by New Stem Cell Technique

A new procedure in differentiating stem cells will accelerate advances in treating neurological diseases.

A team of researchers at the University of Illinois led by doctors Fei Wang, Qiuhao Qu, and JianJun Cheng, have developed a fast and efficient technique for differentiating stem cells into motor neurons.  The researchers added critical signaling molecules and growth factors to the cells much earlier than previous methods, resulting in twice the amount of neurons derived from the cells in half the time. Continue reading

Stem Cell Advance Gives Hope for Neurodegenerative Treatment

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Scientists in the US (UC, UCSD) and China (Wuhan) have found a way to convert stem cells into functional neurons. The researchers were able to suppress an RNA-binding protein, inducing the stem cells to become neurons. This gives hope for a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), which will afflict one in four Americans over their lifetime.

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Neural Stem Cells Reduce ALS Disease Progression in Mouse Model

 

Transplanted neural stem cells (shown here) were used to treat a mouse model of ALS. (Credit: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute)

Transplanted neural stem cells (shown here) were used to treat a mouse model of ALS. (Credit: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A consortium of researchers have successfully demonstrated that the transplantation of neural stem cells in the spinal cord of an ALS mouse model can slow the disease onset and progression, as well as improve motor function and significantly prolong the lifetime of the diseased agent.

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