Thursday, November 1, 2007

 

Stem cells can improve memory after brain injury

‘New UC Irvine research is among the first to demonstrate that neural stem cells may help to restore memory after brain damage.

In the study, mice with brain injuries experienced enhanced memory – similar to the level found in healthy mice – up to three months after receiving a stem cell treatment. Scientists believe the stem cells secreted proteins called neurotrophins that protected vulnerable cells from death and rescued memory. This creates hope that a drug to boost production of these proteins could be developed to restore the ability to remember in patients with neuronal loss.

“Our research provides clear evidence that stem cells can reverse memory loss,” said Frank LaFerla, professor of neurobiology and behavior at UCI. “This gives us hope that stem cells someday could help restore brain function in humans suffering from a wide range of diseases and injuries that impair memory formation.”‘




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