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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2004 March;46(1):75-80

language: English

Stem cell therapy for neurological disease and injury

Peterson D. A.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science North Chicago, IL, USA


Despite the ana­tom­i­cal pro­tec­tion pro­vid­ed to the cen­tral ner­vous ­system (CNS) by the ­skull and ver­te­bral col­umn, it is ­still vul­ner­able to a varie­ty of inju­ries as ­well as a num­ber of neu­ro­de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eas­es. There is lit­tle endog­e­nous ­repair of the CNS, so func­tion­al recov­ery ­from inju­ry is typ­i­cal­ly mod­est. Most neu­ro­de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eas­es are pro­gres­sive in ­their ­course and few effec­tive ther­a­pies ­exist to ­delay ­this dis­ease pro­gres­sion or to pro­mote any recov­ery. With the under­stand­ing ­that the ­adult ­brain can sup­port the gen­er­a­tion of new neu­rons in cer­tain loca­tions and ­with advanc­es in under­stand­ing the biol­o­gy of ­such ­stem or pro­gen­i­tor ­cells, ­there is now con­sid­er­able ­hope ­that neu­ral or non-neu­ral ­derived ­stem ­cells can be ­used for struc­tu­ral ­brain ­repair. This ­review pro­vides an over­view of our cur­rent under­stand­ing of the biol­o­gy of neu­ral ­stem ­cells and ­their abil­ity to inte­grate ­into the ­mature CNS. The pros­pects for ­using graft­ed ­stem ­cells or recruit­ing endog­e­nous ­stem ­cells to ­treat neu­ro­log­i­cal inju­ry or dis­ease are eval­u­at­ed.

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