Stem Cell Roles and Applications in Genetic Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • John Ku
  • Ahmed El-Hashash
Part of the Stem Cells in Clinical Applications book series (SCCA)


Neurodegeneration is an umbrella term for the progressive loss of function or structure of neurons. A wide range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, occur because of neurodegenerative processes. There are currently no cures for both the neurological disorders/diseases Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that are marked by a selective loss of neurons. Current drug treatments for these types of diseases do not address the underlying pathology and can only relieve patient’s symptoms. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel therapeutic approaches that can delay the onset or slow the progression of these diseases. Stem cells are potential and promising therapeutic options since they can be expanded easily and survive transplantation effectively. Stem cells can facilitate neovascularization and neurogenesis processes by producing multiple growth factors, cytokines, and other factors that have anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, or anti-oxidative effects. Furthermore, the cell replacement therapeutic approaches are promising for common neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Neurodegenerative diseases Stem cells Neurological diseases Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease Cell therapy 



Alzheimer’s disease


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Embryonic stem cell


Hematopoietic stem cell


Mesenchymal stem cell


Neural stem cell


Parkinson’s disease


Umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Ku
    • 1
  • Ahmed El-Hashash
    • 2
  1. 1.California State Polytechnic UniversityPomonaUSA
  2. 2.The University of Edinburgh-Zhejiang International campus (UoE-ZJU Institute), and Centre of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Schools of Medicine & Basic Medicine, Zhejiang UniversityZhejiangChina

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