Up until now, there have been two schools of thoughts on how stem cells work to repair damages caused by trauma or neurodegenerative disorders.
- The transplanted stem cells directly replace dead or dying cells.
- The transplanted stem cells secret growth factors that indirectly rescue the injured tissue.
Researchers from the University of South Florida are now suggesting a third theory:
- The transplanted stem cells build a “biobridge” that connects the healthy section of the brain and the damaged section of the brain to facilitate the transport of new neural stem cells to the area in need of repair.
The FDA has approved a limited clinical trial to further this study by working with patients with traumatic brain injury. Given the growing number of individuals inflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as the many cases of combat and sports induced brain trauma, this is exciting news.
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