Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

From an NIH press release:

Neurons Grown from Embryonic Stem Cells Restore Function in Paralyzed Rats

For the first time, researchers have enticed transplants of embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons in the spinal cord to connect with muscles and partially restore function in paralyzed animals. The study suggests that similar techniques may be useful for treating such disorders as spinal cord injury, transverse myelitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal muscular atrophy. The study was funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The researchers, led by Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, used a combination of transplanted motor neurons, chemicals capable of overcoming signals that inhibit axon growth, and a nerve growth factor to attract axons to muscles. The report is published in the July 2006 issue of Annals of Neurology.

"This work is a remarkable advance that can help us understand how stem cells might be used to treat injuries and disease and begin to fulfill their great promise. The successful demonstration of functional restoration is proof of the principle and an important step forward. We must remember, however, that we still have a great distance to go," says Elias A. Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health.

“This study provides a 'recipe' for using stem cells to reconnect the nervous system,” says Dr. Kerr. "It raises the notion that we can eventually achieve this in humans, although we have a long way to go."

[ ... Read the full release ... ]

Anthony H. Risser | |


Matthew said...

Lauren and I are two high school students and we started a non-profit 501C3 organiation called Living Free for Research to help fund research and awareness for stem cell research in the United States. If you have a minute, please check out our website
-Matt and Lauren

Sarah Willie said...

You know The stem cells and umbilical cord cells have also been used for treating leukemia and lymphoma patients. So, you can see that stem cells have a lot of potential in making the world free of diseases!