Navigation Links
Watching stem cells repair the human brain
Date:8/19/2009

There is no known cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. But new hope, in the form of stem cells created from the patient's own bone marrow, can be found ― and literally seen ― in laboratories at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Yoram Cohen of TAU's School of Chemistry has recently proven the viability of these innovative stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, using in-vivo MRI. Dr. Cohen has been able to track their progress within the brain, and initial studies indicate they can identify unhealthy or damaged tissues, migrate to them, and potentially repair or halt cell degeneration. His findings have been reported in the journal Stem Cells.

"By monitoring the motion of these cells, you get information about how viable they are, and how they can benefit the tissue," he explains. "We have been able to prove that these stem cells travel within the brain, and only travel where they are needed. They read the chemical signalling of the tissue, which indicate areas of stress. And then they go and try to repair the situation."

Tracking live cells in the brain

To test the capabilities of this innovative new stem cells, Dr. Cohen created a study to track the activity of the live cells within the brain using the in-vivo MRI at the Strauss Centre for Computational Neuro-Imaging. Watching the live, active cells has been central to establishing their viability as a therapy for neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Cohen and his team of researchers took magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and used them to label the stem cells they tested. When injected into the brain, they could then be identified as clear black dots on an MRI picture. The stem cells were then injected into the brain of an animal that had an experimental model of Huntington's disease. These animals suffer from a similar neuropathology as the one seen in human Huntington's patients, and therefore serve as research tool for the disease.

On MRI, it was possible to watch the stem cells migrating towards the diseased area of the brain. "Cells that go toward a certain position that needs to be rescued are the best indirect proof that they are live and viable," explains Dr. Cohen. "If they can migrate towards the target, they are alive and can read chemical signalling."

An ethically viable stem cell

This study is based on differentiated mesenchymal cells (MSC), which were discovered at Tel Aviv University. Bone marrow cells are transformed into NTFs-secreting stem cells, which can then be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases. This advance circumvents the ethical debate caused by the use of stem cells obtained from embryos.

Although there is a drawback to using this particular type of stem cell ― the higher degree of difficulty involved in rendering them "neuron-like" ― the benefits are numerous. "Bone marrow-derived MSCs bypass ethical and production complications," says Dr. Cohen, "and in the long run, the cells are less likely to be rejected because they come from the patients themselves. This means you don't need immunosuppressant therapy."

Working towards a real-life therapy

Dr. Cohen says the next step is to develop a real-life therapy for those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. The ultimate goal is to repair neuronal cells and tissues. Stem cell therapy is thought to be the most promising future therapy to combat diseases such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and researchers may also be able to develop a therapy for stroke victims. If post-stroke cell degeneration can be stopped at an early stage, says Dr. Cohen, patients can live for many years with a good quality of life.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Watching Violent TV at Pre-School Age Linked to Aggression in Young Boys
2. Obesity research boosted by watching hunger in the brain
3. Watching too much TV is causing some university students to pack on the pounds
4. Watching water from space could aid disease prevention in China
5. Watching R-Rated Movies Boosts Kids Smoking Risk
6. TV Watching Doesnt Fast-Track Babys Skills
7. Play the Winning Hand - Watching Your Fortunes Grow in Skin Care
8. Tumors use enzyme to recruit regulatory T-cells and suppress immune response
9. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
10. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
11. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Watching stem cells repair the human brain
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... On Dec. 2, 2016, CURE® magazine will ... Diego honoring the 2016 MPN Heroes—eight individuals who have made a difference in the ... beyond the standard of care, demonstrating leadership within the MPN community and/or a commitment ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... More than 100 business, civic, ... to attend the UNCF Dothan-Wiregrass Mayor’s Luncheon Dec. 9, 2016. This inaugural event, ... and operating support to UNCF-member institutions, including Miles College, Oakwood University, Tuskegee University, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... launch of its 60-day free trial program for all of the company’s desktop ... offer a truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique desktop risers use an ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The annual time frame to change Medicare health and prescription ... December 7th. Currently-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries who are looking to switch from their current plan ... to make changes during this period order for their new policy to go into ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... With the number of pain ... an injury, patients must find the one that works for them. When an inventor ... a machine that worked and decided to share it with others. , He developed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... British Columbia , December 2, 2016 bioLytical ... bekannt gegeben, ab diesem Monat seinen  INSTI HIV-Selbsttests  in einer Version mit ... ... New: INSTI Self Test! ... , ,      (Photo: ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Exchange-Traded Fund ... victory early in November. Less political risk has boosted ... predicting an uptick in M&A activities. Today, Stock-Callers.com takes ... they have fared at the last close: Celldex Therapeutics ... (NASDAQ: FOLD ), Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov 30, 2016 Research and ... Overview for Neuromodulation, Neurovascular, Neurosurgical and Monitoring Devices 2017 - ... ... The full report suite on the U.S. market ... drainage systems, intracranial pressure monitoring devices, detachable coils, liquid embolics, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: