In a study at the University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare, researchers were able to regenerate “an astonishing degree” of axonal growth at the site of severe spinal cord injury in rats. Their research revealed that early stage neurons have the ability to survive and extend axons to form new, functional neuronal relays across an injury site in the adult central nervous system (CNS).
The study also proved that at least some types of adult CNS axons can overcome a normally inhibitory growth environment to grow over long distances. Importantly, stem cells across species
Image via Wikipedia
Promising results from a small study may offer hope for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Researchers from the University of California – San Diego report dramatic improvement after treating MS patients with stromal vascular fraction (SVF) stem cells from a patient’s own body fat. They say the SVF therapy can limit the body’s immune system reaction and promote the growth of new myelin – the fatty “insulation” on axons in the brain, which breaks down in patients with MS.
“None of the presently available MS treatments selectively inhibit the immune attack against the nervous system, nor do they
UC San Diego scientists have dramatically improved the success rate of genetically modifying human embryonic stem cells. This advance brings the promise of better treatment of genetic diseases.
The new approach works in 20 percent of embryonic stem cells, compared to less than 1 percent treated with standard methods, said Yang Xu, a UCSD professor of biology, who led the study, assisted by Hoseok Song and Sun-Ku Chung, postdoctoral fellows in his lab.
The study was published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
Some genetic diseases can’t be studied adequately in animals, Xu said, so the ability to produce human cells
Larry Goldstein, the director of the stem cell programme at the University of California in San Diego, explains to Al Jazeera the implications of this decision that now allows government funding for human embryonic stem cell research.