Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neural stem cells improve motor function in brain injuries

02.10.2002


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."



If stem cells are blank slates, able to become any type of body cells, then neural stem cells (NSCs) are slates with the basics of neurology already written on them, waiting for signals in the nervous system to fill in the blanks. The NSCs used by McIntosh and his colleagues were cloned from mouse progenitor cells and grown in culture. The advantage of NSCs exists in their ability to easily incorporate themselves into their new environment in ways other types of transplants could not.

"If you put these cells into normal newborn mice, they would behave exactly like normal cells – they create different neural cell types and they don’t reproduce tumorigenically," said McIntosh. "In humans, the use of similar neural stem cells would avoid the ethical dilemmas posed by fetal stem cells and the limitations seen in cultures of cloned neurons."

In humans, traumatic brain injury is associated with disabilities affecting mobility, motor function and coordination. Following NSC transplantation in mice, the researchers used simple tests to determine motor skills. They found that mice with transplanted NSCs recovered much of their physical ability. The transplanted NSCs, however, seemed to have little effect in aiding recovery of lost cognitive abilities.

"The ultimate goal, of course, is to translate what we have learned into a therapy for humans," said McIntosh. Neural transplantation has been suggested to be potentially useful as a therapeutic intervention in several central nervous system diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ischemic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. While McIntosh is impressed with the results of NSC transplants in mice, similar trials for humans are not expected in the near future.

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.upenn.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Radioisotope couple for tumor diagnosis and therapy
14.05.2019 | Kanazawa University

nachricht Therapy Optimisation by Analysing the Genome
13.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Discovering unusual structures from exception using big data and machine learning techniques

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

ALMA discovers aluminum around young star

17.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

A new iron-based superconductor stabilized by inter-block charger transfer

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>