Stem cells help mice regain memory
A group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were able to use human embryonic stem cells to repair brain damage in mice. The mice had been genetically altered to have brain damage and to not reject transplant cells from other species. Once the human stem cells were in the brains of the mice, they morphed into two common types of neurons that help heal neurological defects.
After the stem cell transplant, the mice scored significantly better on cognitive and memory tests.
While the results are unlikely to pave the way for stem cell therapies for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Down’s syndrome and traumatic brain damage any time soon, they may be helpful in helping scientists develop more refined drug therapies.