Transplants in animal models could translate into therapy for humans
Neural stem cells, transplanted into injured brains, survive, proliferate, and improve brain function in laboratory models according to research based at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The findings, published in the October edition of the journal Neurosurgery, suggest that stem cells could provide the first clinical therapy to treat traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries occur in two million Americans each year and are the leading cause of long-term neurological disability in children and young adults.
"Transplantation of neural stem cells in mice three days after brain injury promotes the improvement of specific components of motor function," said Tracy K. McIntosh, PhD, professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, Director of Penn’s Head Injury Center, and senior author of the study. "More importantly, these stem cells respond to signals and create replacement cells: both neurons, which transmit nerve signals, and glial cells, which serve many essential supportive roles in the nervous system."
Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
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