In a recently published study from the Hallym University College of Medicine, researchers have applied mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to animal models afflicted with global cerebral ischemia [GCI] to successfully reduce the associated neuronal damage. When compared to those that received no treatment, animals that received MSCs displayed a significant decrease in cell death, inflammation to the brain, and disruption of the blood brain barrier. Continue reading
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
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
As reported in a recent article in the New York Times, bioengineers from Tufts University have created a 3-D model of the brain that, utilizing stem cell-derived neurons, the model can mimic the brain’s response to traumatic injury. Principle Investigator Dr. David Kaplan tested the model by dropping weights on it, resulting in a complete neuronal response, including the transmission of electrical impulses and chemical signals through the neurons. Continue reading
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, adult stem cell therapies are advancing rapidly; with researchers utilizing stem cells to treat an expanding range of disease, trauma and injury. The article highlights the increasing use of cord blood to treat a variety of ailments such as; Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and immune deficiencies such as diabetes. Continue reading
A study from the University of Texas Health Science Center has discovered a novel function of mesenchymal stem cells in preventing long-term brain damage and inflammation in patients following traumatic brain surgery. MSCs injected into TBI-mice actually travelled to the spleen to regulate the body’s inflammatory response to the trauma and preserve brain function. Continue reading
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center have developed a novel use of stem cells to prevent neurological inflammation in patients following traumatic brain injury; potentially limiting damage caused by TBI and preserving brain function for victims. The treatment stem cells injected into TBI-mice regulated the immune response in the brain, limiting inflammation and long term damage. Continue reading
Researchers at the University of South Florida have successfully used adult stem cells to repair traumatic brain damage in neurologically impaired mice. Prior to the study, hypotheses on how stem cells may provide treatment for neurological disorders were limited. However, the results of this experiment provide a new theory: stem cells replace dying cells while attracting other stem cells from uninjured regions of the brain to the damaged portions for continued neural cell replenishment. In the words of Principal Investigator Dr. Cesar Borlongan, “The transplanted stem cells serve as migratory cues for the brain’s own neurogenic cells.” Continue reading
Hypoxic-Ischemic brain injury can be caused by a number of ailments including cardiac arrest (heart attack), respiratory arrest, incomplete suffocation and more. The incidence in the United States of hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries is 1-8 in every 1000 births. Researchers at Nagoya University have used stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) to treat neonatal mice with hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries. They have found that this treatment leads to neurological and pathophysiological recovery of these injuries. These finding indicate that SHED may be utilized in the future for a novel neuroprotective therapy for hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries.
Dr. Peter Donovan, Dr. Hans Keirstead, Dr. Aileen Anderson, Dr. Brian Cummings, Dr. Frank LaFerla, Dr. Leslie M. Thompson, and Dr. Matthew Blurton-Jones of UC Irvine discuss the importance of stem cells and the current research taking place within their labs.