Neural Stem Cells Treat Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease

Two articles published in Science and Translational Medicine employ stem cells to treat neural damage. Working with a mouse model, researchers led by Stephen Back, MD, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University, transplanted neural stem cells to de-myelinated mice, which resulted in increased and effective myelination. Stemming from these findings, researchers led by David Rowitch, MD, PhD, University of California San Francisco, implanted stem cell-derived neurons into four boys as part of a phase I clinical trial to treat Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. Patients with the disease suffer from neuron damage due to stripped axon-insulator myelin. Imaging revealed increased myelination, and exam showed improved motor function. This initial trial will enter its next phase to specifically assess efficacy of treatment.

Read more about the study in the LA Times >>