Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor
This is very controversial, so what do you think?
For me I think if we can find any way to help find a cure for all movement disorders why not give it a try and I hope medical research continues. Let me know your thoughts.
What are Stem Cells?
Durham, NC (PRWEB) December 05, 2014
Scientists have for the first time used adult human stem cells to “cure” rats with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative illness that currently has no cure. The study, published in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, details how a team of researchers working in Germany at the University of Bielefeld (UB) and Dresden University of Technology were able to produce mature neurons using inferior turbinate stem cells (ITSCs).
What are stem cells?
ITSCs are stem cells taken from tissue that would generally be discarded after an adult patient undergoes sinus surgery.
The team then tested how the ITSCs would behave when transplanted into a group of rats with Parkinson’s disease. Prior to transplantation, the animals showed severe motor and behavioral deficiencies. However, 12 weeks after receiving the ITSCs, the cells had migrated into the animals’ brains and functional ability was not only fully restored, but significant behavioral recovery was witnessed, too. In another positive sign, no tumors were found in any of the animals after the transplantations, something that also has been a concern in stem cell therapy.Due to their easy accessibility and the resulting possibility of an autologous transplantation approach, ITSCs represent a promising cell source for regenerative medicine,” said UB’s Barbara Kaltschmidt, Ph.D., who led the study along with Alexander Storch, M.D., and Christiana Ossig, M.D., both of Dresden University. “The lack of ethical concerns associated with human embryonic stem cells is a plus, too.”
“In contrast to fighting the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease with medications and devices, this research is focused on restoring the dopamine-producing brain cells that are lost during the disease,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. "These cells are easy to access and isolate from nasal tissue, even in older patients, which adds to their attraction as a potential therapeutic tool.”
What are stem cells? Stem cells are a renewable source of tissue that can be coaxed to become different cell types of the body. The best-known examples are the embryonic stem (ES) cells found within an early-stage embryo. These cells can generate all the major cell types of the body (they are “pluripotent”). Stem cells have also been isolated from various other tissues, including bone marrow, muscle, heart, gut and even the brain. These “adult” stem cells help with maintenance and repair by becoming specialized cells types of the tissue or organ where they originate. For example, special stem cells in the bone marrow give rise to all the various types of blood cells (similar blood cell-forming stem cells have also been isolated from umbilical cord blood).
Adult vs. embryonic stem cells Because adult stem cells become more committed to a particular tissue type during development, unlike embryonic stem cells, they appear to only develop into a limited number of cell types (they are “multipotent”).
What are induced pluripotent stem cells? In addition to ES cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, discovered in 2007, represent an important development in stem cell research to treat diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Essentially, iPS cells are ”man-made” stem cells that share ES cells' ability to become other cell types. IPS cells are created when scientists convert or "reprogram" a mature cell, such as a skin cell, into an embryonic-like state. These cells may have potential both for cell replacement treatment approaches in patients and as disease models that scientists could use in screening new drugs.
IPS cell technology is somewhat related to a previous method called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) or “therapeutic cloning” (the technology that gave us Dolly the Sheep). Unlike the iPS cell approach, which converts adult cells directly into stem cells, SCNT involves transferring the genetic material of an adult cell into an unfertilized human egg cell, allowing the egg cell to form an early-stage embryo and then collecting its ES cells (which are now genetic “clones” of the person who donated the adult cell). To date, however, this has not been successfully demonstrated with human cells and iPS cell methods may be replacing SCNT as a more viable option.
A potentially exciting use for iPS cells is the development of cell models of Parkinson’s disease. In theory, scientists could use cells from people living with Parkinson’s disease to create iPS cell models of the disease that have the same intrinsic cellular machinery of a Parkinson’s patient. Researchers could use these cell models to evaluate genetic and environmental factors implicated in Parkinson’s disease.
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