Durham, NC (PRWEB) February 14, 2013
A new study in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine demonstrates how human stem cells can successfully engraft, survive and differentiate into mature neurons in the spinal cord of a rat with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The results offer new hope for those suffering from this disease, which generally ends in death within three to five years after diagnoses.
ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrigs disease) is characterized by the degeneration and death of the bodys motor neurons, leading to muscle atrophy, paralysis and death due to failure of the respiratory muscles. Despite studies that have improved our understanding of how ALS develops, there are no effective treatments. However, stem cell based-therapies have emerged as a potential solution.
The transplantation of stem-cell derived neural progenitors may have beneficial effect not only for the replacement of motor neurons already lost, but also in counteracting degeneration and death of motor neurons, said Roland Pochet, Ph.D., of the Universit