Although promising, it goes to show how FAR we are away from human stem cell treatment.
Stem Cell Progress on Several Fronts Give Hope for ALS
Roberta Friedman, Ph.D., ALSA Research Department Information Coordinator
[QUICK SUMMARY: New progress in stem cell research includes proof of principle that spinal cord injury can be repaired, as well as other important advances that could bring stem cells into the treatment arena for ALS.]
The ALS Association is featuring advances in stem cell research as part of this month’s journal news service. This month’s digest of noteworthy published findings marks the first full year of this new service that the research department is pleased to provide for the ALS community. In noting this anniversary, it is satisfying to see the progress many researchers are making in understanding stem cell biology, with an eye toward designing effective treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease).
A key finding that achieved wide press coverage was that motor neurons derived from embryonic stem cells could be placed into the spinal cords of rats that had lost motor neurons, with the rats regaining partial ability to walk. Yet several other publications in the stem cell field encourage those seeking to help treat motor neuron disorders.