Stem cell therapy brings hope

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Sandy
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Stem cell therapy brings hope

I am in favor of Stem cell therapy. You cannot stop science from progressing. The passage of proposition 71 ( the california Stem cell Research and Cures Initiative) helps us to find better treatments for diseases like spinal chord injuries and Alzheimer.

samm
samm's picture
You're not the only one -

You're not the only one - just read yesterday that a NFO/survey of 3800 across all 50 US states reported 61% in favour, 21% against and 18% undecided!

Richard Taylor
Richard Taylor's picture
Do those numbers apply to

Do those numbers apply to embryonic stem cell therapy?

I'm sure they do and there aren't lots of people campaigning against bone marrow transplants - but it could do with clarifying.

nin1318
nin1318's picture
Bipartisan legislation,

Bipartisan legislation, called the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill would expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research. If you wan to support this, then please contact your Representative to urge them to co-sponsor this important legislation.

Sandy
Sandy's picture
nin1318 wrote:Bipartisan

nin1318 wrote:

Bipartisan legislation, called the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill would expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research. If you wan to support this, then please contact your Representative to urge them to co-sponsor this important legislation.

Embryonic stem cell therapy involves freedom for abortion. For past few years US government is becoming more and more conservative and now they are trying to ban abortion rights. I wonder how long will take us to return to dark ages when women were hunged because they were posessed?

DD
DD's picture
Sandy wrote:I am in favor of

Sandy wrote:

I am in favor of Stem cell therapy. You cannot stop science from progressing. The passage of proposition 71 ( the california Stem cell Research and Cures Initiative) helps us to find better treatments for diseases like spinal chord injuries and Alzheimer.

Restricting federal funding may have been good for embryonic stem cell research. This argument is based on that the present US policy has actually increased stem cell funding and research worldwide, and mobilizing state governments and phylantropy to fund this promising technology.

Tirumal Rao
Tirumal Rao's picture
New Technique Induces Growth

New Technique Induces Growth Across Spinal Cord Injury
Using a totally new approach, researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have for the first time induced the growth of severed adult mammalian spinal cord fibers across the site of the injury. The animal study appearing in the May issue of Neuron is the first to report repairing such an injury without the use of implanted cells or tissues to bridge the severed fibers. In addition, the findings call into question current assumptions about barriers to spinal cord regeneration.
ST. PAUL, Minn – Over-the-counter pain medication naproxen and prescription pain reliever celecoxib do not prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published April 25, 2007, in the online edition of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. These findings appear to contradict earlier observational studies, which found sustained use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease.

The clinical trial, conducted at six dementia research clinics across the United States, involved more than 2,100 people over age 70 with no signs of dementia, but a family history of Alzheimer's disease. The participants were randomly assigned daily doses of naproxen, celecoxib, or placebo for up to four years, but most participants had received the treatments for less than two years.

The study found neither treatment was associated with a reduction in Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

"Although our study was conducted to test the hypothesis that celecoxib or naproxen would reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease, these results indicate no such effect, at least within the first few years after treatment begins," said study author Constantine Lyketsos, MD, MHS, with Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

The findings appear to be inconsistent with other studies suggesting reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease among people who take NSAIDs over a long period of time. "One possible explanation for this inconsistency is that our findings relate specifically to celecoxib and naproxen, but not to other commonly used NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. Or the drugs may not prevent the progression of disease in people who have advanced Alzheimer's pathology without symptoms – the very people most likely to develop symptoms within a year or two," said study author John C. S. Breitner, MD, with VA Puget Sound Health Care.

"While long-term follow-up of our study's participants is essential, for now we suggest celecoxib and naproxen not be taken to primarily prevent Alzheimer's disease," urged Lyketsos.

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The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, dystonia, migraine, Huntington's disease, and dementia.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.

"We have actually tricked nerve cells into growing beyond the area of a spinal cord injury by switching them into an actively growing state," says Clifford Woolf, M.D., Ph.D., of the Neural Plasticity Research Group in the MGH Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, who led the study. "While the particular approach we used cannot be applied in humans, it points us in a promising new direction. The question is no longer whether spinal cord regeneration is possible but how it will be achieved."

It has been known for years that severed nerve fibers in the adult spinal cord cannot regenerate. However, damaged peripheral nerves - those in the extremities - can heal themselves. What has intrigued and frustrated researchers is the fact that the fibers making up one sensory system in the spinal cord come from the same cells as do the fibers in peripheral nerves. These sensory nerve cells or neurons have two long processes, called axons, that extend from the main cell body located next to the spinal cord. One axon, the central branch, joins the spinal cord and travels to the brain; the other, the peripheral branch, travels out to the extremities. If the peripheral branch of these cells is injured, it regenerates; if the central branch is injured, it does not.

Because two branches of the same cell exhibit totally different healing capacities, most researchers thought the difference must lie in the environments surrounding the branches, which are very different. Previous attempts to repair severed spinal cords focused on implants of peripheral nerve-tissue "bridges," reproducing cellular environments similar to that of peripheral nerves, or grafts made from embryonic spinal cords, which have the capacity to regenerate. The success of those efforts, Woolf says, has been marginal.

In the current study, Woolf and his colleague Simona Neumann, PhD, questioned the assumption that environment made the key difference. "Perhaps, we thought, the question should be whether or not the cell was receiving molecular signals from the injury site to stimulate regenera-tion. Maybe damage to the central branch does not switch on these growth signals, while damage to the peripheral branch does."

To test this hypothesis, the researchers devised a groups of experiments in rats to see whether injury to the peripheral branch of a nerve made a difference to regeneration of the central branch, which would indicate whether molecular growth signals were important. When they injured the peripheral branch of the sciatic nerve (the main sensory nerve to the leg) at the same time as they damaged the animal's spinal cord, the results were striking. Numerous axonal fibers sprouted and grew in the spinal cord around and directly into the injured area. The fibers, which extended from the lower segment of the spinal cord, did not grow all the way across the injury into the upper segment. In comparison, however, damaging the spinal cord without the peripheral nerve injury produced no growth at all into the injured area.

Injuring the peripheral nerve a week before the spinal cord injury produced even more dramatic results. Axonal fibers grew either completely through or around the injured area and some extended into the upper portion of the spinal cord. "A complete regeneration across the injury site had been achieved," Woolf says.

"We have shown that if we can switch these cells into a state where they can grow, they will grow - even the central branch," he adds. "The problem was not that the adult central nervous system is hostile territory for growth, as previously thought. The problem is getting the injured cells to grow. Now we need to identify the molecular signals that induce this growth and the genes on which they act. If we can find ways to turn those signals on without the peripheral nerve injury and apply them soon after patients suffer spinal cord injury, we may finally achieve what was once seen as an unreachable goal: reconnection of a severed spinal cord."

The study was supported by a grant from the International Spinal Research Trust.
Hope help to u
Tirumal
India