Tag Archives: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Brain stem cell transplant may pave way for Parkinson’s

Neuron transplants have repaired brain circuitry and substantially normalized function in mice with a brain disorder, an advance indicating that key areas of the mammalian brain are more reparable than was widely believed.

Collaborators from Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) transplanted normally functioning embryonic neurons at a carefully selected stage of their development into the hypothalamus of mice unable to respond to leptin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and controls body weight. These mutant mice usually become morbidly obese, but the neuron transplants repaired defective brain circuits, enabling
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Wide-ranging applications for pluripotent stem cells

While applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in stem cell therapy may be limited to a few diseases, its applications in drug discovery are wide-ranging, and many more diseases can be targeted, Shinya Yamanaka, Director, Centre for iPS Cell Research and Application, Japan, has said.

The Japanese scientist, whose breakthrough was the creation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult skin cells, believes that the best chance for stem cell therapy lies in offering hope to those suffering from a few conditions, among them, macular disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.

On the other hand, there were multiple possibilities with
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USA – New Hope to Treat ALS from Stem Cells

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New hope in treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, an incurable neurological disease, which is particularly frequent in former soccer players, may come from stem cells. Nicholas Maragakis and his colleagues from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore in the United States, have successfully conducted an important experiment in mice. In a study published in the online edition of ‘Nature Neuroscience’, the American researchers transplanted precursor cells called astrocytes, which function as support cells for neurons, into the mice with ALS. This allow the mice to survive for much longer.

ALS,
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Research Team Overcomes Major Obstacle for Stem Cell Therapies and Research

Professor Jeanne Loring

Stem cells show great potential to enable treatments for conditions such as spinal injuries or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and also as research tools. One of the greatest problems slowing such work is that researchers have found major complications in purifying cell mixtures, for instance to remove stem cells that can cause tumors from cells developed for use in medical treatments. But a group of Scripps Research scientists, working with colleagues in Japan, have developed a clever solution to this purification problem that should prove more reliable than other methods, safer, and perhaps 100 times cheaper.

The work
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Scientists measure communication between stem cell-derived motor neurons, muscle cells

In an effort to identify the underlying causes of neurological disorders that impair motor functions such as walking and breathing, UCLA researchers have developed a novel system to measure communication between stem cell–derived motor neurons and muscle cells in a Petri dish.

The study provides an important proof of principle that functional motor circuits can be created outside the body using these neurons and cells and that the level of communication, or synaptic activity, between them can be accurately measured by stimulating the motor neurons with an electrode and then tracking the transfer of electrical activity into the muscle cells
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