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

Sniffing Out Parkinson’s Disease with Stem Cells

Stem Cells found in the nose produce neurons that may be able to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

German scientists at the University of Bielefeld and Dresden University of technology have produced neurons from inferior turbinate stem cells [ITSC], a cell type that is typically discarded during sinus surgery, as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease.  After transplanting the ITSCs into an animal model suffering from Parkinson’s, the researchers observed full functional restoration and significant behavioral recovery in the subjects without any adverse side effects. Continue reading

Singing the Praises of Stem Cell Research

Stem Cells in white crown sparrows used to study neurodegenerative diseases.

A research team from the University of Washington has discovered a stem cell signal in Gambel’s white-crown sparrows that may lead to new regenerative treatments for patient suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.  The team found that, in preparation for an upcoming mating season, the sparrow’s brain cells release a chemical signal that activates the division of neural stem cells, which facilitate peak singing performance to attract mates. Continue reading

Schizophrenia Studied With Human Stem Cells.

Scientists have differentiated stem cells into brain cells to study Schizophrenia.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego have differentiated stem cells into neurons to reach a new understanding of the mechanisms of schizophrenia.  The scientists harvested the stem cells of schizophrenia patients, differentiated them into brain cells, and then studied the cells on a dish to reveal that not only do stem cell-derived neurons emit neurotransmitters, but that several of these transmitters, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, are secreted excessively in patients suffering from schizophrenia. 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

Stem Cells Repair Damage via “First Aid Kits”

Scientists found that neural stem cells deliver restorative materials to other cells through vesicle transport.

In a recently published study, a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has shown that neural stem cells are able to communicate and alleviate damage in other cells by transferring vesicles filled with molecules that enable the cells to repair themselves.  The cellular “first aid kits” contain proteins and nucleic acids that stimulate gene activation and signaling pathways to help the injured target cells survive. 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

Ataxia Study Utilizes Autologous Stem Cells

A University of California PhD student has utilized stem cells to create a disease-on-a-chip model to study Ataxia.

Jackie Ward, a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego, has devised a method for studying rare neurological diseases, such as spinocerebeller ataxia. Ward developed a disease-on-a-dish model by harvesting stem cells from ataxic patients, differentiating them into the type of cell that is degenerated by ataxia, and then studying the progression of the disease. Continue reading

Schizophrenia Study Utilizes Autologous Stem Cells

Neuron Precursor Cells derived from stem cells are being used to determine the origin of schizophrenia.

In a recent study published by the Salk Institute, researchers have utilized brain-like cells derived from the stem cells of patients to potentially identify the origin of schizophrenia. The scientists harvested and analyzed stem cells from patients with and without schizophrenia. Upon comparing the two sets of cells, they found that the schizophrenia-derived cells displayed abnormal gene activity and poor cell movement. This information will be critical in determining the onset and the cause of this severe brain disorder. Continue reading

Of Mice and Men: Human Stem Cells Utilized in Animal Model Treatment of MS Symptoms

Advancements in a breakthrough stem cell study may provide new treatment options for MS patients.

A team of researchers led by Professor Jeanne Loring of the Scripps Research Institute have advanced a potential treatment option for autoimmune diseases similar to multiple sclerosis by utilizing human stem cells to reregulate the immune system. In an animal model paralyzed by MS symptoms, the scientists differentiated human stem cells into early stage neural cells that, when transplanted into the spinal cords of the compromised mice, secreted proteins that halted the autoimmune attack and enabled the mice to walk and run again. Continue reading