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

The Nose Knows – The Importance of Stem Cells.

Stem cells are regulators for critical connections between the nose and the brain.

Scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have identified neural stem cells as important regulators of the olfactory bulb and its connections to the brain. The researchers discovered that a constant influx of stem cells is required for the olfactory system to function properly.  The removal of stem cells causes a widespread disruption of signals sent to the brain, resulting in sensory deprivation. 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

Brain Tumor Chemotherapy Delivered via Stem Cells.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to minimize collateral damage from brain tumor chemotherapy treatments.

Neuroscientist Dr. Karen Aboody, M.D. and Oncologist Dr. Jana Portnow, M.D. from City of Hope Hospital are set to begin a phase 1 clinical trial for a method of delivering chemotherapy treatments to glioblastoma [aggressive brain tumors] with modified neural stem cells.  The scientists plan to capitalize on the stem cells’ innate ability to seek out invasive tumors by loading the cells with a chemotherapeutic protein and then injecting them into the brain. 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

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

Stem Cell Awareness Day 2014

The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine has coordinated Stem Cell Awareness day to highlight all of the progress that stem cells already made for patients around the world.

Today, stem cells are rightfully perceived as the future of regenerative medicine, set to bring the marvels of science fiction into reality.  But in looking ahead at all of the promise that stem cells hold for the future, it becomes easy to miss the scientific advances made to date for the millions of people around the world suffering from disease, trauma, and injury.  Thus, today marks Stem Cell Awareness Day: a global celebration of stem cell research coordinated to highlight the treatments and therapies currently in development to create personalized regenerative therapies for patients. 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

Spinal Cord Treatment Utilizes Stem Cells.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have begun clinical trials for a spinal cord treatment that utilizes stem cells.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are set to begin clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of a neural stem cell transplant designed to treat spinal cord injuries.  In an animal model, the stem cells were able to regenerate the nerves across the site of injury, resulting in the restoration of mobility in the legs. Continue reading