Stroke-Induced Brain Damage Prevented by Stem Cells.

Stem cells have been found to prevent neurological damage to GCI stroke victims.

In a recently published study from the Hallym University College of Medicine, researchers have applied mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to animal models afflicted with global cerebral ischemia [GCI] to successfully reduce the associated neuronal damage.  When compared to those that received no treatment, animals that received MSCs displayed a significant decrease in cell death, inflammation to the brain, and disruption of the blood brain barrier. Continue reading

Type 1 Diabetes Reversed by Integrating Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

MSCs and HCELL molecules track down islet cells and reverse inflammation.

According to a recently published study from the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] have the ability to reverse type I diabetes by suppressing the auto-immune attack of islet cells.  Although the MSCs cannot be directly injected into the pancreas, the researchers utilized the surface adhesion molecule HCELL to hone the stem cells in on the inflamed islets, allowing them to normalize blood sugar levels without the use of insulin. Continue reading

Sniffing Out Parkinson’s Disease With Stem Cells

Stem Cells found in the nose produce neurons that may be able to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

German scientists at the University of Bielefeld and Dresden University of technology have produced neurons from inferior turbinate stem cells [ITSC], a cell type that is typically discarded during sinus surgery, as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease.  After transplanting the ITSCs into an animal model suffering from Parkinson’s, the researchers observed full functional restoration and significant behavioral recovery in the subjects without any adverse side effects. Continue reading

Multiple Sclerosis Trial Exhibits Positive Results of Stem Cell Therapy.

A five year phase II clinical trial has shown initial success in treating multiple sclerosis.

In a recent update of an ongoing five year clinical trial conducted by the Chicago Blood Cancer Institute, patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis have experienced suppression of disease-related inflammation as a result of hematopoietic stem cell transplantations.  The stem cells have the ability to regulate the autoimmune attack on the central nervous system, and have provided 82.8% of the patients with two years thus far of event-free disease remission. Continue reading

The Nose Knows – The Importance of Stem Cells.

Stem cells are regulators for critical connections between the nose and the brain.

Scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have identified neural stem cells as important regulators of the olfactory bulb and its connections to the brain. The researchers discovered that a constant influx of stem cells is required for the olfactory system to function properly.  The removal of stem cells causes a widespread disruption of signals sent to the brain, resulting in sensory deprivation. Continue reading

Singing the Praises of Stem Cell Research

Stem Cells in white crown sparrows used to study neurodegenerative diseases.

A research team from the University of Washington has discovered a stem cell signal in Gambel’s white-crown sparrows that may lead to new regenerative treatments for patient suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.  The team found that, in preparation for an upcoming mating season, the sparrow’s brain cells release a chemical signal that activates the division of neural stem cells, which facilitate peak singing performance to attract mates. Continue reading

Brain Tumor Chemotherapy Delivered via Stem Cells.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to minimize collateral damage from brain tumor chemotherapy treatments.

Neuroscientist Dr. Karen Aboody, M.D. and Oncologist Dr. Jana Portnow, M.D. from City of Hope Hospital are set to begin a phase 1 clinical trial for a method of delivering chemotherapy treatments to glioblastoma [aggressive brain tumors] with modified neural stem cells.  The scientists plan to capitalize on the stem cells’ innate ability to seek out invasive tumors by loading the cells with a chemotherapeutic protein and then injecting them into the brain. Continue reading

Schizophrenia Studied With Human Stem Cells.

Scientists have differentiated stem cells into brain cells to study Schizophrenia.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego have differentiated stem cells into neurons to reach a new understanding of the mechanisms of schizophrenia.  The scientists harvested the stem cells of schizophrenia patients, differentiated them into brain cells, and then studied the cells on a dish to reveal that not only do stem cell-derived neurons emit neurotransmitters, but that several of these transmitters, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, are secreted excessively in patients suffering from schizophrenia. Continue reading

CRISPR Advances Genetic Disease Treatment with Stem Cells.

CRISPR may change the way scientists incorporate stem cells for translational genomics.

Scientists led by Dr. Craig Mello of The University of Massachusetts have developed a genetic tool – CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats] – to revolutionize the way stem cells are applied to treat genetic diseases, such as sickle cell or thalassemia.  CRISPR aims to expedite and improve upon the process of translational genomics, in which the patient’s stem cells are extracted, altered to repair the damaged gene, and then transplanted back to the patient. Continue reading

Stem Cells Repair Damage via “First Aid Kits”

Scientists found that neural stem cells deliver restorative materials to other cells through vesicle transport.

In a recently published study, a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has shown that neural stem cells are able to communicate and alleviate damage in other cells by transferring vesicles filled with molecules that enable the cells to repair themselves.  The cellular “first aid kits” contain proteins and nucleic acids that stimulate gene activation and signaling pathways to help the injured target cells survive. Continue reading