Working With Neurogenesis

What could medical science do with a reliable way of generating new neurons in the brain? "Researchers have identified a new mechanism that plays a central role in adult brain stem cell development and prompts brain stem cells to differentiate into neurons. Their discovery, known as Integrative FGFR1 Signaling (INFS) [is] considered capable of repopulating degenerated brain areas, raising possibilities for new treatments for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders ... The approach uses gene engineering and nanoparticles for gene delivery to activate the INFS mechanism directly and promote neuronal development. The INFS-targeting gene can prompt these stem cells to differentiate into neurons. ... the research team set out to see if it is possible to generate a wave of new neurons from stem cells and direct them to the affected areas. ... [There is] the need for further development of gene delivery methods for the treatment of neuronal loss. ... Targeting the INFS mechanisms by small molecules could potentially replace the need for gene transfers and create a classical drug therapy for the neuronal loss."

Link: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/10123

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