, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 537-538
Date: 12 Oct 2011

Cell-Based Therapies for Disorders of the Brain and Spinal Cord

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The explosive growth of stem cell biology over the past decade has led to a broader consideration of the potential for cell-based approaches for treating disorders of the central nervous system. These approaches most directly include cell transplantation, for both congenital and acquired diseases of the CNS, and take advantage of a host of newly developed cellular sources for tissue repair. Both fetal and adult human tissues, as well as somatic stem and progenitor cells derived from those tissues, and their analogues derived from either human embryonic stem cells or reprogrammed somatic cells, are all under therapeutic development. In addition, cell-based therapeutics also includes strategies for the mobilization of endogenous neural stem and progenitor cells, whether by pharmacological approaches or gene therapeutics. Indeed, the panoply of approaches under development both inform and overlap one another, so that the lines between gene therapy and cell therapy have become blurred, and