Scientists led by Mathias Hoehn at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolic Research have devised a novel method for documenting the process by which human stem cells transplanted into the cerebral cortex of an animal model develop into mature nerve cells. The researchers inserted optical image reporters into the cells to emit different shades of light when certain genes were activated. By observing the sequence in which the light was emitted, the group determined the timeline of the stem cell’s transformation in vivo.
In a recently published study, a team of researchers led by Dr. Giovanni Mancardi from the University of Genoa conducted a phase II clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of conventional multiple sclerosis [MS] therapy to intravenous stem cell transplantation. Throughout the four year trial, the team found that, in addition to significantly decreasing disease progression and brain damage compared to MS drug mitoxantrone [MTX], the transplanted stem cells had migrated into the patients’ bone marrow and stimulated the generation of new, non-harmful immune cells, essentially resetting the immune system.
Researchers at the University Hospital Niño Jesus in Madrid, Spain, are conducting a clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of treating cerebral palsy patients with hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood, as well as mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] from umbilical cord tissue. The scientists will compare the two types of autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells in their effectiveness regarding immune-regulation, anti-inflammatory activity, and stimulation of brain tissue regeneration.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.