Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 685–699 | Cite as

Progress in Stem Cell Therapy for Major Human Neurological Disorders

  • P. L. Martínez-Morales
  • A. Revilla
  • I. Ocaña
  • C. González
  • P. Sainz
  • D. McGuire
  • I. ListeEmail author


Human neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, stroke or spinal cord injury are caused by the loss of neurons and glial cells in the brain or spinal cord in the Central Nervous System (CNS). Stem cell technology has become an attractive option to investigate and treat these diseases. Several types of neurons and glial cells have successfully been generated from stem cells, which in some cases, have ameliorated some dysfunctions both in animal models of neurological disorders and in patients at clinical level. Stem cell-based therapies can be beneficial by acting through several mechanisms such as cell replacement, modulation of inflammation and trophic actions. Here we review recent and current remarkable clinical studies involving stem cell-based therapy for AD and stroke and provide an overview of the different types of stem cells available nowadays, their main properties and how they are developing as a possible therapy for neurological disorders.


Stem cells Neurodegeneration Cell therapy Neurogenesis Alzheimer’s disease Stroke 



The authors wish to thank members of their laboratory for their research work and fruitful discussions. Research at the authors’ laboratory was funded by the MICINN-ISCIII (PI-10/00291 and MPY1412/09) and Comunidad de Madrid (NEUROSTEMCM consortium; S2010/BMD-2336). PMM was supported by a Posdoctoral Fellowship from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico. DM is supported by the program INOV CONTACTO, AICEP, Portugal.

Conflict of Interest

The authors confirm that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. L. Martínez-Morales
    • 1
  • A. Revilla
    • 1
  • I. Ocaña
    • 1
  • C. González
    • 1
  • P. Sainz
    • 1
  • D. McGuire
    • 1
  • I. Liste
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Unidad de Regeneración Neural, Unidad Funcional de Investigación de Enfermedades CrónicasInstituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)MadridSpain

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