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Blog: MRI Guidance Shows Promise in Delivering Stem Cell Therapies

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Working with animals, a team of scientists reports it has delivered stem cells to the brain with unprecedented precision by threading a catheter through an artery and infusing the cells under real-time MRI guidance. This method may lead to future advances in treating Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other brain-damaging disorders.

“Although stem cell-based therapies seem very promising, we’ve seen many clinical trials fail. In our view, what’s needed are tools to precisely target and deliver stem cells to larger areas of the brain,” says Piotr Walczak, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute for Cell Engineering. The therapeutic promise of human stem cells is derived from their ability to develop into any kind of cell and, in theory, regenerate injured or diseased tissues ranging from the insulin-making islet cells of the pancreas that are lost in type 1 diabetes to the dopamine-producing brain cells that die off in Parkinson’s disease.

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Funding: The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant numbers NS076573, NS045062, NS081544), the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, the Department of Defense (grant number PT120368), the Polish National Science Centre (grant number NCN 2012/07/B/NZ4/01427), the National Centre for Research and Development, and a Mobility Plus Fellowship from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

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Stem cell therapy shows promise for all kinds of disorders. Narcolepsy might be one of them. This article offers some exciting possibilities for the future!

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Date Created: October 5th, 2016
Last Updated: April 10th, 2017