Friday 25th March 2011
Scientists at Marshall University are engaged in research that could lead to new treatments for repairing the central nervous system after Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions.
The researchers identified unique animal stem cells that can turn into neurons, which could be used to combat illnesses like Huntingdon's disease and multiple sclerosis.
What the researchers found particularly interesting was that these neural stem cells are found in adult blood, unlike embryonic stem cells which carry a risk of cancer.
"Neural stem cells are usually found in specific regions of the brain, but our observation of neural-like stem cells in blood raises the potential that this may prove to be a source of cells for therapies aimed at neurological disorders," said Dr Elmer M Price, head of the research team.
It follows news that stem cell therapy for age-related macular degeneration has taken a major step forward, after Georgetown University Medical Centre researchers demonstrated the ability to create retinal cells from pluripotent stem cells.
Written by Alex Franklin Stortford