New way to repair nerves: Using exosomes to hijack cell-to-cell communication

September 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Regenerative medicine using stem cells is an increasingly promising approach to treat many types of injury. Transplanted stem cells can differentiate into just about any other kind of cell, including neurons to potentially reconnect a severed spinal cord and repair paralysis.

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Stem cells provide lasting pain relief in mice

July 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Chronic pain caused by the nerve damage of type 2 diabetes, surgical amputation, chemotherapy and other conditions is especially intractable because it resists painkilling medications.

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Supercharging stem cells to create new therapies

July 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered a new method for culturing stem cells which sees the highly therapeutic cells grow faster and stronger.

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Prenatal stem cell treatment improves mobility issues caused by spina bifida

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The lower-limb paralysis associated with spina bifida may be effectively treated before birth by combining a unique stem cell therapy with surgery, new research from UC Davis Health System has found.

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New advancements in 3-D designs for neural tissue engineering

April 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It is well known that neurological diseases and injuries pose some of the greatest challenges in modern medicine, with few if any options for effectively treating such diagnoses, but recent work suggests a unique approach for reconstructing damaged neural tissue. In an article published in the journal Neural Regeneration Research, several new designs for 3D tissue constructs are described for using stem cells grown on nanofiber scaffolding within a supportive hydrogel.

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Scientists grow ‘mini-lungs’ to aid the study of cystic fibrosis

March 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have successfully created ‘mini-lungs’ using stem cells derived from skin cells of patients with cystic fibrosis, and have shown that these can be used to test potential new drugs for this debilitating lung disease.

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Biological fat with a sugar attached essential to maintaining the brain’s supply of stem cells

November 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Fat and sugar aren’t usually considered healthy staples, but scientists have found that a biological fat with a sugar attached is essential for maintaining the brain’s store of stem cells.

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Human skin cells reprogrammed as neurons regrow in rats with spinal cord injuries

August 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

While neurons normally fail to regenerate after spinal cord injuries, neurons formed from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that were grafted into rats with such injuries displayed remarkable growth throughout the length of the animals’ central nervous system. What’s more, the iPSCs were derived from skin cells taken from an 86-year-old man. The results, described in the Cell Press journal Neuron, could open up new possibilities in stimulating neuron growth in humans with spinal cord injuries

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Researchers seek ‘safety lock’ against tumor growth after stem cell transplantation

August 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Recent studies have shown that transplanting induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (iPS-NSCs) can promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury in rodents and non-human primates. However, a serious drawback to the transplantation of iPS-NSCs is the potential for tumor growth, or tumorogenesis, post-transplantation.

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Effect of microenvironment modulation on stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury pain

August 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Spinal cord injury (SCI) currently ranks second after mental retardation among neurological disorders in terms of cost to society. Pain is a debilitating consequence of SCI related to the nature of the lesion, neurological structures damaged, and secondary pathophysiological changes of surviving tissues1. Approximately two-thirds of persons who have sustained SCI experience clinically significant pain after injury, of whom one-third have severe pain2, 3. Post-SCI pain can increase with time and is often refractory to conventional treatment approaches4. Over the past decade, clinical studies have shown that post-SCI pain interferes with rehabilitation, daily activities, and quality of life and may substantially influence mood, leading to depression and even suicide4-7.Chronic neuropathic pain following SCI is divided into three types: at-level pain (pain within the body segments innervated by spinal cord segments at the level of the injury), below-level pain (pain within body segments caudal to the level at which the spinal cord was injured), and above-level pain (pain within body segments rostral to the level at which the spinal cord was injured)8. The mechanisms underlying SCI-induced chronic neuropathic pain are not well understood. Aberrant central sprouting of nociceptive fibers has been commonly proposed as a mechanism of SCI pain and is associated with mechanical allodynia induced by SCI9-11. Demyelination (loss of myelin) and dysmyelination (abnormal myelination) induced by oligodendrocyte injury and death are important contributors to SCI-associated behavioral deficits, including pain12-16. For instance, SCI-induced dysmyelination is involved in the aberrant sprouting of nociceptive fibers and causes SCI pain behaviors. Thus, remyelination of demyelinated/dysmyelinated axonsin the injured spinal cord could be an important repair therapy for SCI and one of the key elements for functional recovery and aberrant sprouting prevention after SCI, published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 5, 2014).

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