Stem Cell Transplant Studies Raise Hopes Of Treatment For ALS

Featured Article Academic Journal Main Category: Muscular Dystrophy / ALS Also Included In: Stem Cell Research;Neurology / Neuroscience Article Date: 08 Jan 2013 - 3:00 PST

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A summary of all 11 studies, plus the results of the meta-analysis of their pooled data, can be found in a paper published in the 19 December online issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Co-lead author of the paper Yang (Ted) Teng is a Harvard Medical School (HMS) associate professor of surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US. He and his colleagues believe the key to treating ALS lies in targeting new mechanisms uncovered by studies into neural stem cells.

Their review takes in a decade of research from several institutions. As well as Brigham and Women's, it covers results from studies conducted at Johns Hopkins University, the VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston Children's Hospital, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, UMass Medical School, SUNY-Syracuse, and Columbia University.

Teng says in an HMS statement released last week:

"This significant research will help us better understand the mechanisms underlying motor neuron diseases."

Neural stem cells are the precursors of all brain cells. They can self-renew, make more neural stem cells and differentiate into nerve cells or other brain cells. They can also rescue nerve cells that don't work properly and help preserve and regenerate brain tissue.

Teng says:

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Stem Cell Transplant Studies Raise Hopes Of Treatment For ALS

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