Neural Stem Cell Transplants

Scientific American reports on a first generation stem cell therapy for the brain, now in early trials: "Just over a month ago, on November 14, orderlies at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore., wheeled a six-year-old child with an incurable disorder of the nervous system into an operating theater. During the next eight hours surgeons used computers to guide a surgical procedure the likes of which the world has never seen: injections of neural stem cells directly into the brain of a human subject. In this phase I clinical trial, doctors affiliated with Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) are collaborating with scientists at Stem Cells, Inc. ... Their immediate goal is limited to healing children afflicted with Batten disease, a rare but fatal neurodegenerative disorder. In the coming decades, however, this work could lead to treatments for neurodegenerative disorders that affect millions, such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases."



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