Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cells restore cognitive abilities impaired by brain cancer treatment

Date:
July 15, 2011
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Human neural stem cells are capable of helping people regain learning and memory abilities lost due to radiation treatment for brain tumors, a new study suggests.

UCI researcher Charles Limoli found that nearly half of the engrafted stem cells turned into cells that support neurons.
Credit: Steve Zylius / University Communications

Human neural stem cells are capable of helping people regain learning and memory abilities lost due to radiation treatment for brain tumors, a UC Irvine study suggests.

Research with rats found that stem cells transplanted two days after cranial irradiation restored cognitive function, as measured in one- and four-month assessments. In contrast, irradiated rats not treated with stem cells showed no cognitive improvement.

"Our findings provide solid evidence that such cells can be used to reverse radiation-induced damage of healthy tissue in the brain," said Charles Limoli, a UCI radiation oncology professor.

Study results appear in the July 15 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Radiotherapy for brain tumors is limited by how well the surrounding tissue tolerates it. Patients receiving radiation at effective levels suffer varying degrees of learning and memory loss that can adversely affect their quality of life.

"In almost every instance, people experience severe cognitive impairment that's progressive and debilitating," Limoli said. "Pediatric cancer patients can experience a drop of up to three IQ points per year."

For the UCI study, multipotent human neural stem cells were transplanted into the brains of rats that had undergone radiation treatment. They migrated throughout the hippocampus -- a region known for the growth of new neurons -- and developed into brain cells.

Researchers assessed the rats one month and four months after transplantation, noting enhanced learning and memory abilities at both intervals.

Additionally, they found that transplanting as few as 100,000 human neural stem cells was sufficient to improve cognition after cranial irradiation. Of cells surviving the process, about 15 percent turned into new neurons, while another 45 percent became astrocytes and oligodendrocytes -- cells that support cerebral neurons.

Most notably, Limoli said, he and his colleagues discovered that about 11 percent of the engrafted cells expressed a behaviorally induced marker of learning, indicating the functional integration of those cells into memory circuits in the hippocampus.

"This research suggests that stem cell therapies may one day be implemented in the clinic to provide relief to patients suffering from cognitive impairments incurred as a result of their cancer treatments," Limoli said. "While much work remains, a clinical trial analyzing the safety of such approaches may be possible within a few years, most likely with patients afflicted with glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer."

Munjal Acharya, Lori-Ann Christie, Mary Lan and Erich Giedzinski of UCI and John Fike and Susanna Rosi of UC San Francisco contributed to the study, which was funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. M. Acharya, L.-A. Christie, M. L. Lan, E. Giedzinski, J. R. Fike, S. Rosi, C. L. Limoli. Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation Ameliorates Radiation-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction. Cancer Research, 2011; 71 (14): 4834 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-0027

Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Stem cells restore cognitive abilities impaired by brain cancer treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713131655.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2011, July 15). Stem cells restore cognitive abilities impaired by brain cancer treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713131655.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Stem cells restore cognitive abilities impaired by brain cancer treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713131655.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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