University of Florida researchers have made a discovery that will go a long way toward helping the millions of people in the U.S. who suffer from epileptic seizures. According to their study, published in the journal PLOS One, stem cells implanted in the brain can develop into normally functioning neurons, some of which serve to inhibit the overactive brain connections that lead to seizures.
Using a mouse model, the scientists implanted human neural stem cells and found that they were able to survive and transform into interneurons, which are the type that's responsible for communication of impulses within the brain. Excitatory interneurons encourage brain connectivity, while inhibitory neurons calm it down. In the future, researchers say, implanting neural stem cells into the brains of people with epilepsy and directing them to become inhibitory neurons may prove an effective treatment for the root cause of seizures.
According to study author Dr. Steven Roper, this treatment may also lead to stem cell solutions for other neurological diseases, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"This shows that human stem cells are quite capable of providing the different cell types that we need to treat various diseases. This makes us very optimistic that these cells can ultimately be used for a number of different human diseases that require better control of brain function," said Roper in a statement.
Previous studies have shown that embryonic stem cells can be used for a similar purpose, but the advantage of neural stem cells is that they can be grown in a lab in unlimited numbers, allowing for near-infinite testing and refinement of the treatment.
For information about stem cell therapy and aging longevity, contact the Longevity Centres of America today.