Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human Brain Cell Transplantation Study Aims To Reverse Nerve And Brain Damage

Date:
January 4, 1999
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
While growing cells in petri dishes has been done for more than a century, this old technique is being applied in ground-breaking new ways, and with space-age equipment, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Neurofunctional Surgery Center. The goal is to produce cures for such previously incurable conditions as spinal cord injuries, stroke, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.

LOS ANGELES (December 29, 1998) -- While growing cells in petri dishes has been done for more than a century, this old technique is being applied in ground-breaking new ways, and with space-age equipment, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Neurofunctional Surgery Center. The goal is to produce cures for such previously incurable conditions as spinal cord injuries, stroke, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease. Using molecular biology technology, scientists have developed specialized neuronal cells ready to be transplanted for certain neurological conditions.

Related Articles


The project was sparked by the recent discovery of human brain cells' potential for regeneration, contradicting previous scientific assumptions. "While it is true that brain cells don't regenerate in situ, we have found that a very small number of brain cells, harvested and placed into a special environment, can be stimulated to regenerate, and that regeneration continues when the cells are re-introduced into the brain," says neurosurgeon Michel Levesque, M.D., Director of the Neurofunctional Surgery Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Levesque's partner in the work is Toomas Neuman, Ph.D., Director of Neurobiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The two are working to culture a number of carefully targeted brain cells from a patient, stimulating the cell's growth and regeneration in a regulated environment. They will then re-introduce the cells into the patient, where the goal is for growth to continue, effecting healing and repairing damaged brain tissue.

The current plan involves selective cell harvesting and implantation to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's Disease. An infinitely more complex protocol for treating stroke and spinal cord injuries is in development.

This protocol will involve identifying, growing and re-introducing a complex mixture of cells to restore damaged neural circuitry. For example, in treating epilepsy patients who require surgery, a small piece of the cortex -- where some of the few brain cells capable of regeneration are located - is removed. The cells are frozen and stored in a cell bank of neurons until it is time to grow them in petri dishes.

Dr. Levesque is the lead surgeon and growth stimulation is under the direction of Dr. Neuman. The cells are removed and placed in a special environment to stimulate growth and division. "The cells don't spontaneously regenerate in the body -- that's why certain types of brain injuries and illnesses are currently incurable or irreparable," says Dr. Neuman. "Our eventual goal is to be able to stimulate the cells without removing them first."

A variety of molecular biology tools is used to identify and stimulate the cells. The growing cells, which require a sterile, biologically stable environment, are placed in incubators -- like baby incubators. They are then placed in a special bath that includes different growth factors. Both the stable environment and the bath containing the growth factors are required.

Dr. Levesque and Dr. Neuman are collaborating with NeuroGeneration, a new biotechnology firm in Los Angeles, which is providing the cells. Funding for this research was supported in part by the Spinal Cord Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Human Brain Cell Transplantation Study Aims To Reverse Nerve And Brain Damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990104073828.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (1999, January 4). Human Brain Cell Transplantation Study Aims To Reverse Nerve And Brain Damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990104073828.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "Human Brain Cell Transplantation Study Aims To Reverse Nerve And Brain Damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990104073828.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins