Posts Tagged ‘alzheimer’s’


In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on December 15, 2012 at 8:58 am


“Scientists have been successfully deriving stem cells from ordinary human cells for years.  Researchers have reprogrammed testicle stem cells to make insulin and even harvested adult stem cells from the scalps and brain linings of human corpses.  A recent study published in the journal Natural Methods, showcases the ability to take kidney cells that are shed and excreted through urine and transform them into brain stem cells, without the unpredictable threat of tumors when transplanted to the host.  This new method could be useful in treating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.”


The technique is described in a study that was published in the journal Nature Methods (Wang, et al., Nature Methods (2012) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2283). Unlike embryonic stem cells, which are derived through the destruction of embryos and have the potential to cause tumors, these neural progenitor cells do not form tumors and are made quickly and without the destruction of human embryos.

Stem cell biology expert Duanqing Pei and his co-workers from China’s Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, previously published a paper that showed that epithelial cells from the kidney that are sloughed into urine can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) (Ting Zhou, et al., Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2011 vol. 22 no. 7 1221-1228, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011010106). In this study, Pei and his colleagues used retroviruses to insert pluripotency genes into kidney-based cells to reprogram them. Retroviruses are efficient vectors for genes transfer, but they insert their virus genomes into the genomes of the host cell. This insertion event can cause mutations, and for this reason, retroviral-based introduction of genes into cells are not the preferred way to generate iPSCs for clinical purposes.

Researchers use retroviruses to routinely reprogram cultured skin and blood cells into iPSCs, and these iPSCs can be differentiated into any adult cell type. However, urine is a much more accessible source of cells.

In this present study, Pei’s team used a different technique to introduce genes into the cells from urine; they used “episomal vectors,” which is an overly fancy way of saying that they placed the pluripotency genes on small circles of DNA that were then pushed into the cells. Episomal vectors can reprogram adult cells into iPSCs, but they do so at lower levels of efficiency. Nevertheless, episomal vectors have an added advantage in that the vectors transiently express the pluripotency genes in cells and then are lost without inserting into the host cell genome. This makes episomal vectors inherently safer for clinical purposes.

In one of their experiments, perfectly round colonies of reprogrammed cells from urine that resembled pluripotent stem cells after only 12 days. This is exactly half the time typically required to produce iPSCs. When cultured further, the colonies assumed a rosette shape that is common to neural stem cells.

When Pei and others cultured his urine-derived iPSCs in a culture conditions that normally used for cultured neurons, these cells formed functional neurons in the lab. Could these cells work in the brain of a laboratory animal? Transplantation of these cells into the brains of newborn rats showed that, first of all, they did not form tumors, and, secondly, they took on the shape of mature neurons and expressed the molecular markers of neurons.

The beauty of this experiment is that neural progenitors cells (NPCs) grow in culture and researchers can generate buckets of cells for experiments. However, when cells are directly reprogrammed to neurons, even though they make neurons faster than iPSCs.

James Ellis, a medical geneticist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada who makes patient-specific iPSCs to study autism-spectrum disorders, said: “This could definitely speed things up.”

Another plus of this study is that urine can be collected from nearly any patient and banked to produce instant sources of cells from patients, according to geneticist Marc Lalande, who creates iPSCs to study inherited neurological diseases at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. Lalande is quite intrigued by the possibility of making iPSCs and NPCs from urine draw from the same patient. Lalande added: “We work on childhood disorders,” he says. “And it’s easier to get a child to give a urine sample than to prick them for blood.”

Source:  http://beyondthedish.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/making-brain-cells-from-urine/


Medical marijuana has been shown to facilitate stem cell implantation

In Medical Marijuana, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on July 26, 2010 at 1:00 am

As far back as April, 2009, research showed that medical marijuana can help with stem cell implantations.  Stem cells and weed, a potent combination! – dg

The uses for this medicine range from pain relief to stopping the spread of breast cancer. It has also been shown to facilitate stem cell implantation. Marijuana can be used to treat Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and other conditions.

Florida could be the next medical marijuana state
Organizers around Florida ready to collect signatures

The Florida Division of Elections has approved a petition that may place a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

People United For Medical Marijuana has received approval to circulate a petition to place this issue before Florida voters in 2010. This amendment would give patients the right to grow, purchase, posses and obtain marijuana for medical treatment.

According to medical reports there are more than 1.7 million seriously ill people in the state of Florida that could benefit from marijuana’s medicinal properties. The uses for this medicine range from pain relief to stopping the spread of breast cancer. It has also been shown to facilitate stem cell implantation. Marijuana can be used to treat Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and other conditions.

“Patients need a safe, affordable, and effective medication. We hope Florida will lead the nation in marijuana research to further its uses as a medicine.” said Kim Russell, chairman of People United For Medical Marijuana..



In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on September 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm

“Up 41.54% on Friday”

money - medicine-money1236814423Stem Cell Therapy International, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stem Cell Therapy International Corp., engages in licensing of stem cell technology and the sale of stem cell products, as well as the provision of information, education, and referral services. It provides allo stem cell biological solutions that are used in the treatment of patients suffering from degenerative disorders of the human body, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, leukemia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, spinal cord injuries, brain injury, stroke, heart disease, liver and retinal disease, and diabetes, as well as certain types of cancer. The company’s stem cell biological solutions can be used to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy. Its principal stem cell products are solutions containing allo stem cell biological solutions, either adult stem cells, and stem cells that are extracted from umbilical cord blood. It intends to offer biological solutions containing stem cell products primarily in the United States to universities, institutes, and privately funded laboratory facilities for research purposes and clinical trials. The company was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

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S Dakota Voters Ballot Prop for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on September 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

South Dakota Voters Could Face Ballot Prop for Embryonic Stem Cell Research – by Steven Ertelt – LifeNews.com Editor – September 28, 2009

money_ballotPierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — When voters in South Dakota head to the polls next November, they could face a statewide ballot measure that would force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research. That is the science that has yet to provide any cures for patients and has had problems in animal studies.

Former state Treasurer David Volk of Sioux Falls, who is a cancer survivor, says he doesn’t like the current state restrictions against funding the controversial research.

He says he wants the regulations thrown out so taxpayer dollars can flow to embryonic stem cell research involving cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases — even though the use of adult stem cells is already helping patients now.

Volk has created a new group called South Dakotans for Lifesaving Cures that will file papers with the Secretary of State for the ballot measure. It will need to obtain 6,776 valid signatures by April 6 to get the measure on the November 2010 ballot…

via South Dakota Voters Could Face Ballot Prop for Embryonic Stem Cell Research.


In ALL ARTICLES, HOPE AND INSPIRATION on April 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm
martin-luther-king-jr i have a dream

martin-luther-king-jr i have a dream

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.” Martin Luther King, Jr.



And as far as false hope, there is no such thing. There is only hope or the absence of hope-nothing else. – Patti Davis

Although “you feel tiny in the presence of a huge disease,” it is important not to lose hope, Davis said, noting that “interactions may be smaller, but you can still communicate” with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s.

Davis also criticized the Bush administration – Laura Bush in particular – for saying publicly to “not give Alzheimer’s patients false hope.”

“Hope is not false,” Davis said. “It just takes hope, sometimes just the hope of one person.” – Patti Davis

Stem Cells Redux


Stemagen via Bloomberg News -Updated: March 9, 2009

Stem cells are how we all begin: undifferentiated cells that go on to develop into any of the more than 200 types of cell the adult human body holds.

Few quarrel with predictions of the awesome potential that stem cell research holds. One day, scientists say, stem cells may be used to replace or repair damaged cells, and have the potential to drastically change the treatment of conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and even paralysis.

All of these disease are already being treated outside the US with Adult/Repair stem cells. -dg

But the divisions over how to conduct that research have been deep and bitter. Most research has been conducted on embryonic stem cell lines  (in the US only! – dg) — cultures of cells derived from four- or five-day-old embryos, or fertilized cells. Opponents of embryonic stem cell research, which often uses embryos discarded by fertility clinics, want it to be severely restricted or banned outright as inhumane.

(actually, some don’t care about the moral issues, they just want the dying and debilitated to have opportunities for treatment ASAP! – dg)

The most important legislation relating to stem cell research is known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which first became law in 1996, and has been renewed by Congress every year since. It specifically bans the use of tax dollars to create human embryos – a practice that is routine in private fertility clinics – or for research in which embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury.

via Stem Cells.

U-M unveils new stem cell research initiative | detnews.com | The Detroit News

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 10, 2009 at 11:53 pm


U-M unveils new stem cell research initiative

Monday, March 9, 2009 -Tanveer Ali / The Detroit News

ANN ARBOR — University of Michigan announced plans today to launch the state’s first major program taking advantage of a statewide vote that legalized embryonic stem cell research.

The Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies will use surplus embryos from fertility centers, initially targeting such ailments as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

(missing the forest for the trees again – dg)

The announcement comes the same day that President Barack Obama signed an executive order reversing eight years of restrictions on federal funding toward that type of research.

The program is expected to begin in the spring and has already received $2 million in funding. Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Stem Cell Biology, said more money is expected now that Obama signed the order.

“The people of Michigan should understand by virtue of voting for Proposal 2, this puts us in position to benefit from this funding,” Morrison said.

via U-M unveils new stem cell research initiative | detnews.com | The Detroit News.

Obama Wrongly Claims Embryonic Stem Cell Research Will Cure Alzheimer’s

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS - 101, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

Obama Wrongly Claims Embryonic Stem Cell Research Will Cure Alzheimer’s

by Steven Ertelt –  LifeNews.com Editor -January 19, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Over the weekend, incoming president Barack Obama talked about how he’ll make Congress overturn President Bush’s stem cell research policy. In his comments, Obama wrongly indicated embryonic stem cell research can cure Alzheimer’s even though scientists say that’s not the case.

via Obama Wrongly Claims Embryonic Stem Cell Research Will Cure Alzheimer’s.

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