University of California researchers are fighting a variety of rare pediatric diseases with stem cells. Funding provided by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will address fatal conditions such as severe combined immunodeficiency, Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease, along with diseases ranging from cancer to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Researchers led by Dr. Su-Chun Zhang at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center are utilizing stem cells in a pre-clinical trial to determine the role of human astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Huntington’s disease, and Rhett Syndrome. The team found that, upon integration into the central nervous system, stem cell-derived astrocytes from patients with ALS replace the astrocytes of the host while disrupting motor function, as though the host also had ALS.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada has funded Canada’s first stem cell clinical trial to treat multiple sclerosis, conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa. The trial, called MESCAMS [Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Canadian MS patients], will comprise MSC infusions to the central nervous system to utilize their ability to regulate autoimmune attacks and reduce inflammation in 40 MS patients.
Topics: ALS, Phase III, neural stem cells, multiple sclerosis, stemsaveblog, Brain, clinical trials, Debilitating Diseases, Stemcells, autologousstemcells, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Neurodegenerative disease
As reported on the front page of the New York Times Science section, clinical applications of stem cell based therapies are accelerating at a rate that will revolutionize the medical field in a matter of years. In the United States alone, there are currently over 4000 therapies in clinical trials for the treatment of heart disease, blindness, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, H.I.V., and other diseases, injuries, and traumas.
Topics: Muscular Dystrophy, ALS, Parkinson's, Phase III, multiple sclerosis, Heart, stemsaveblog, Joints, Alzheimer's, burn injuries, Diabetes, Acute Myocardial Infarction, Brain, Heart Failure, clinical trials, Bone, Debilitating Diseases, Phase II, Arthritis, Stemcells, Teeth, autologousstemcells, cartilage, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Brain Tumors, Blindness
Researchers at the Cedars-Mt. Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, led by Dr. Robert H. Baloh, have devised a method to study and develop potential treatments for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS] by utilizing patients’ stem cell-derived neurons. In an example of what is referred to as translational genomics, researchers extract autologous (the patient’s own) stem cells, correct the defective gene causing the disease, and then, in a potential treatment protocol, transplant the cells back into the patient to reverse neural degeneration.
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois led by doctors Fei Wang, Qiuhao Qu, and JianJun Cheng, have developed a fast and efficient technique for differentiating stem cells into motor neurons. The researchers added critical signaling molecules and growth factors to the cells much earlier than previous methods, resulting in twice the amount of neurons derived from the cells in half the time.
A consortium of researchers have successfully demonstrated that the transplantation of neural stem cells in the spinal cord of an ALS mouse model can slow the disease onset and progression, as well as improve motor function and significantly prolong the lifetime of the diseased agent.