Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have grafted neurons reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice for the first time with long-term stability. Six months after implantation, the neurons had become fully functionally integrated into the brain.
This implantation of neurons is successful because it is stable – and it raises hope for future therapies that will replace sick neurons with healthy ones in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients, for example. Perhaps, also, for people with Alzheimer’s, whose neurons have become damaged?
The Luxembourg researchers published their results in the current issue of ‘Stem Cell Reports’.
For the research minded, the reference is
Stem Cell Reports, accepted, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.06.017
Hemmer K., Zhang M., van Wüllen, T., Sakalem M., Tapia N., Baumuratov A., Kaltschmidt C., KaltschmidtB, Schöler H. R., Zhang W., Schwamborn J. C. (2014) Induced neural stem cells achieve long-term survival and functional integration in the adult mouse brain.
For the not- research minded, but for those who love technology – this interesting piece was passed to me on the phone of the young man on the next treadmill to mine at the Gym today. ‘You’re interested in brain research?’ he asked, propping it up in front of me. I read it at 4.6 mph. ‘Email it to me?’ I suggested. ‘I’ll pass it to your timeline’, he replied. And here it is!
I hope that when he reaches forty there’ll be cures – and better yet – prevention – for these brain diseases.