Tag Archives: Motor neuron

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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Stem cells reduce degeneration in motor neurons

Japanese stem cell scientists have succeeded in slowing the deterioration of mice with motor neuron disease, possibly paving the way for human treatment, according to a new paper.

A team of researchers from the Kyoto University and Keio University transplanted specially created cells into mice with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s, or motor neuron disease.

The progress of the creatures’ neurological degeneration was slowed by almost 8%, according to the paper, which was published on Friday in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

Stem Cells For ALS

Advancements in stem cell research may one day help surgeons provide treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a deadly neurodegenerative disease characterized by the selective death of motor neurons.

CD133+ stem cells are known to have the capacity to differentiate into neural lineages and may provide an alternative treatment for patients suffering from ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.

According to Newswise, Linda Kelley, Ph.D., director of the University of Utah’s Cell Therapy Facility, James Campanelli, Ph.D., of University of Utah spin-out Q Therapeutics, Inc., and Utah native Nicholas Maragakis, M.D., of The Johns Hopkins University
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Stem Cells: From skin cells to motor neurons

A team of Harvard stem cell researchers has succeeded in reprogramming adult mouse skin cells directly into the type of motor neurons damaged in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), best known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). These new cells, which researchers are calling induced motor neurons (iMNs), can be used to study the development of the paralyzing diseases and to develop treatments for them.

Producing motor neurons this way is much less labor intensive than having to go through the process of creating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC, iPS cells), and is so much faster than the
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Neuralstem gets FDA OK for Stem cell trial for ALS treatment

Neuralstem Inc. has received the green light to begin the first human stem cell trial to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The company’s stock soared on the news.

Neuralstem has only received approval for the first stage of the trial that would consist of 12 patients who will receive stem cell injections in the lumbar area of the spinal cord.

Neuralstem said the trial will be under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Eva L. Feldman, Director of the University of Michigan Health System ALS Clinic and the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery.
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