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Neuralstem's Human Stem Cells Integrate into Nervous System of Rats with Animal Model of ALS
Date:3/9/2009

Make Synaptic Contact with Host Motor Neurons

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Transplanted human neural stem cells (hNSCs) developed by Neuralstem, Inc. (NYSE Alternext US: CUR) made synaptic contacts with the motor neurons of rats with ALS-like symptoms, a paper published in the current online edition of the Journal of Comparative Neurology reported. This constitutes evidence that the transplanted cells integrated into the nervous system of the host. The rats had a genetic mutation called SOD-1 G93A which gives them a disease similar to ALS in humans.

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"This is the first demonstration of transplanted human neurons synapsing, or making mature structural connections, with the rat motor neurons, something which has not been demonstrated before," said Dr. Karl Johe, Neuralstem's Chief Scientific Officer and a study co-author. "Our earlier work with this ALS model showed that the stem cells delayed onset of the disease and played a neuroprotective role. Now we have clear evidence that they can become an integral part of the rat nervous system that controls the muscles. I would expect these cells to be readily accepted by and integrated into a human nervous system, such as in an ALS or a spinal cord injury patient."

"This is an important milestone for Neuralstem," said Richard Garr, CEO and President. "The underlying basis for 'replacement' therapy is that the cells can integrate into the host to provide function in addition to providing neuroprotection. We are pleased to be the first to demonstrate that our technology passes that test. Our application to begin the first human clinical trial to treat ALS with neural stem cells is currently under review by the FDA. We are delighted that our continuing animal work adds support for t
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SOURCE Neuralstem, Inc.
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