How Are Brain Stem Cells Activated & The Promise of Future Neural Stem Cell Therapies

Our brains have a hard time regenerating cells once they have been lost due to illnesses and injury. While it is possible for neural cells to regenerate on their own, it could take years and by that time it would already be too late. This is the reason why medical researchers are studying how to harness the true potential of neural stem cells. Scientists want to understand better how neural stem cells work, so we can develop effective treatments.

The goal of researchers like the University of Plymouth is to determine the mechanism that goes behind the neural stem cells, how will we wake up the potential of the dormant neural stem cells. If we can fully understand the process of producing neurons or nerve cells as well as surrounding glial cells in our brain, we have a chance of curing brain disorders in the future.

A study was conducted using the Drosophila fruit flies, medical researchers took a deeper analysis of the molecules that work behind them. What happens inside these organisms. Scientists have discovered that Drosophila fruit flies have what they call the STRIPAK or the Striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase. These complex molecules are also found in fungi and in humans. Researchers discovered that the STRIPAK components have the ability to turn off dormancy or turn on reactivation.

Lead author of the research Dr. Claudia Barros, from the Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine at the University of Plymouth, have acknowledged that we are at a bare minimum when it comes to understanding the inner workings inside the brain, but there is one thing for sure and this is the significance of stem cell therapy as a field in the future of medicine.

Humans have to uncover how neural stem cells coordinate cues to each other. Scientists want to understand how brain cells produce and communicate, so we can study how to do cell regeneration. What we know so far, is that the STRIPAK molecules are crucial to enabling the neural stem cells. Doctors aim to one day be able to control and efficiently facilitate brain damage repair, or even prevent brain cancer as a whole, fuelled by the investigations and research produced by studying stem cells.

As of the moment, there is still no approved cell therapies for brain disorders in any country. However, there are several clinical trials that are ongoing. Top research facilities, hospitals, and clinics are already on the move to testing the efficacy and probability of using cell therapy for brain disorders like multiple sclerosis, stroke, motor neuron disease, Alzheimer’s disease as well as other rare brain disorders.

The goal of medical science is to one day be able to use cell therapy treatments or stem cell injections to cure brain disorders. But before we can arrive with this solution we need to fully understand how the brain works, how does it get damaged and what goes on during cell replacement and cell loss. In its simplest form, medical researchers are hoping that one day the cure could be as easy as injecting fresh batch of stem cells inside a person’s brain to help regenerate it and replace dysfunctional neural stem cells.

Parkinson’s Disease is one of the brain disorders that medical researchers are interested in and keen on finding the cure. Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common forms of brain disorders. There are an estimated 10million people worldwide who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease. There are 41 people per 100,000 in the fourth decade of their life who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and most of them are 80 years and older.

Medical researchers and scientists currently believe that Parkinson’s disease is caused by the specific loss of the population of nerve cells and the dopamine cells of the midbrain. They believe that if this specific population of stem cells could be replaced, there is a chance that the brain function of the person affected could be regained. To test the theory, there are several experiments tested on rats. When dopamine cells of mice are removed, it results in movement disorders, and then they are rectified by injecting replacement cells.

Scientists took some replacement cells from the rat embryo. Then these young nerve cells were then injected into the lesioned rat, and sure enough, the rats recovered from their Parkinsonian behavior. Now the idea is to test this theory in human patients.

They first started testing this out in 1980, and during the first series of tests, it proved effective, but not as efficient as doctors want it to be. The equivalent cells needed for injection could only come from aborted human fetuses and this has raised ethical issues.

Scientists also had other problems including the ability to be consistent with their cell preparation from human fetal remains. In the controlled clinical trials, there were inconsistencies, some of the patients improved after getting injected with a fresh batch of stem cells, but some patients became worse. But over the years, medical science has learned from its mistakes and is now more optimistic about Stem Cell therapy. This is because we now have Pluripotent cells.

With the discovery of Pluripotent stem cells, our ability to cure became wider. Pluripotent cells can now generate every cell type in the body. We no longer have to rely on getting human embryos, we have worked out a solution and can now harvest from other sources inside the human body. The discovery of Pluripotent stem cells changed the gamed and improved the researcher for Parkinson’s disease therapy. Armed with this new method, we are now able to create artificially generated human never cells that are now being used in clinical trials in Japan, Europe, United States, and Saudi Arabia.

Biologists now understand the genetic pathway better. Medical science is already able to differentiate the specific types of dopamine cells inside the fetal brain, and how genes are turned on, including the sequence. This opened the way to improving Stem Cell therapy as a whole. We now have controlled studies that offer real possibilities for solving brain disorders. We have a precise foundation and could answer how injections per treatment are needed. The cure for Parkinson’s disease has gained momentum, opening doors for more medical advancements in the field of Stem Cell Therapy.

New Breed of Homo Sapiens

We have heard of Stem Cell therapy and its wonders for a long time now, however, due to the complexity of data, we are unable to grasp how it can change our life.

Lourdes Duque Baron believes that understanding Stem Cell therapy and how it can change our life need not be complex. At 73 years old, she is a living and breathing example of how Stem Cell Therapy can do wonders for the mind and body. Most people her age, are already suffering from so many health disorders not to mention depression and lack of motivation. But because of fresh stem cells injected through her system- Lou Baron as friends and fans would call her to continue to be the epitome of immense energy, fruitful endeavors, and success.

An award-winning author, actress, musician, humanitarian, producer and now an upcoming director one cannot help but notice that we are already witnessing the existence of a New Breed of Humans- a new set of individuals who are able to live their best life yet at their 70’s and beyond.

“I am living proof that stem cell based therapy really works.” Elucidating how this was the spark that brought about the idea to write, New Breed of Homo Sapiens.

Lourdes Duque Baron

Lourdes Duque Baron wrote her third book New Breed of Homo Sapiens as a simple yet extensive guide for people who are searching for answers on how they too can maximize their full health and brain potential with the help of stem cell therapy.

The author tackles will also tackle how we can battle aging with the help of stem cell therapy. It also outlines a range of topics that would help readers analyze and expound on human aging and various disorders associated with natural biological processes. While dealing with a scientific subject, Lou Baron chooses to address the readers with a clear and concise type of writing.

Baron has studied tirelessly to research and promote advances in stem cell research. “We need to do more,” she said. “Let’s continue to take risks. Let’s tackle the issues. In ways, our music and film communities can do it better than anyone else. There is no challenge, artistic or otherwise, that we can’t meet,” she added.

“I want my readers to fully understand and grasp the importance of this medical breakthrough,” she said. “We are talking about the future generations and the new breed of humans, and I want to bring the knowledge to the public’s doorstep,” she added.

Listen to her Voice!


The full study, entitled STRIPAK Members Orchestrate Hippo and Insulin Receptor Signaling to Promote Neural Stem Cell Reactivation, is available to view now in the journal Cell Reports (doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.05.023).

Source: William Richards Gowers/Public Domain

Leave a Reply

Notify of