Hope for people with Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers disease, stroke and other neurodegenerative diseases may ultimately come from their own bodies. Research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., April 24 – May 1, 2004, shows that cells taken from adult human bone marrow can be converted into brain stem cells that meet the criteria for transplantation into the brain.
"Its exciting to think that some day a person with Alzheimers disease could use their own bone marrow to create brain cells that could potentially restore their functioning and make up for cells that were lost," said study author and neurologist Alexander Storch, MD, of the University of Ulm in Ulm, Germany.
Use of the cells from adult human bone marrow, called stromal cells, eliminates the ethical and logistical issues that arise with the use of cells from fetal tissue, Storch said. And use of cells from bone marrow that would be converted and transplanted into the same persons brain eliminates ethical issues and immune-system problems that can arise when the body rejects cells from an outside source.
Kathy Stone | EurekAlert!
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