Stem Cell Research Shows ALS May Be Treatable
"This significant research will help us better understand the mechanisms underlying motor neuron diseases," said Yang (Ted) Teng, PhD, MD, the study's co-lead author and director of the Spinal Cord Injury and Stem Cell Biology Research Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "This work sheds new light on detrimental roles played by non-neuronal cells in triggering motor neuron death and these events should be targeted for developing more effective therapeutics to treat ALS."
The transplanted neural stem cells benefited the mice with ALS by boosting the health and function of their remaining nerve cells. The neural stem cells also reduced inflammation and suppressed the number of disease-causing cells in their spinal cords. The neural stem cells did not replace deteriorating nerve cells.
"This is not a cure for ALS," explained Dr. Teng, who is one of the principal investigators of Project ALS' consortium project. "But it shows the potential that mechanisms used by neural stem cells in our study have for improving an ALS patient's quality of life and length of life."
The research studies were conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, UMass Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, SUNY-Syracuse, Columbia University and VA Boston Healthcare System.
The research studies were primarily funded by Project ALS, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke the Christopher Reeve Foundation/American Paralysis Association, the Sanford Children's Research Center, the A-T Children's Project and the Zinberg Foundation. Additional support to Dr. Teng was provided by a VA Biomedical Research and Development Grant, a VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Grant, and an NIH R21 grant.
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Stem Cell Research Shows ALS May Be Treatable." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 1 Jan. 2013. Web.
29 Aug. 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/254356.php>
Brigham and Women's Hospital. (2013, January 1). "Stem Cell Research Shows ALS May Be Treatable." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.