"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
 -- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
- Stem Cell Therapy -

General Information:

Wikipedia entry:
Dr. Ray Shahelien entry: 


Stem Cell Therapy

See also BDNF
         Lion's Mane Mushroom
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA)

There has been a lot of excitement over the use of stem cell therapy in treating neurodegenerative diseases.  If the progression can be stopped, do things like stem cell therapy or neurogenesis become realistic options? That's what I keep wondering.

Some people are going to China and Germany for stem cell therapy. Maybe with GCSF, this will not be necessary.

Alzheimer's Symptoms Reversed: Blood Stem Cell Growth Factor Reverses Memory Decline In Mice
ScienceDaily (July 2, 2009)

"The granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (GCSF) significantly reduced levels of the brain-clogging protein beta amyloid deposited in excess in the brains of the Alzheimer's mice, increased the production of new neurons and promoted nerve cell connections."

"The researchers showed that injections under the skin of filgrastim (Neupogen®) -- one of three commercially available GCSF compounds -- mobilized blood stem cells in the bone marrow and neural stem cells within the brain and both of these actions led to improved memory and learning behavior in the Alzheimer's mice. "The beauty in this less invasive approach is that it obviates the need for neurosurgery to transplant stem cells into the brain,"

"GCSF is a blood stem cell growth factor or hormone routinely administered to cancer patients whose blood stem cells and white blood cells have been depleted following chemotherapy or radiation. GCSF stimulates the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells needed to fight infection. It is also used to boost the numbers of stem cells circulating in the blood of donors before the cells are harvested for bone marrow transplants..."

"GCSF has been used and studied clinically for a long time, but we're the first group to apply it to Alzheimer's disease..."

But, I'm not so enthusiastic...

Watching Stem Cells Repair The Human Brain
ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2009)
There is no known cure for neurodegenerative
diseases such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. But new hope, in the form of stem cells created from the patient's own bone marrow, can be found —  and literally seen — in laboratories at Tel Aviv University.

This study is based on differentiated mesenchymal cells (MSC), which were discovered at Tel Aviv University. Bone marrow cells are transformed into NTFs-secreting stem cells, which can then be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases. This advance circumvents the ethical debate caused by the use of stem cells obtained from embryos.

Although there is a drawback to using this particular type of stem cell — the higher degree of difficulty involved in rendering them "neuron-like" — the benefits are numerous. "Bone marrow-derived MSCs bypass ethical and production complications," says Dr. Cohen, "and in the long run, the cells are less likely to be rejected because they come from the patients themselves. This means you don't need immunosuppressant therapy."

How The Pathology Of Parkinson's Disease Spreads
ScienceDaily (July 29, 2009)
Accumulation of the synaptic protein alpha-synuclein, resulting in the formation of aggregates called Lewy bodies in the brain, is a hallmark of Parkinson's and other related neurodegenerative diseases. This pathology appears to spread throughout the brain as the disease progresses. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, have described how this mechanism works.

Their findings – the first to show neuron-to-neuron transmission of alpha-synuclein – will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on July 29.

"The discovery of cell-to-cell transmission of this protein may explain how alpha-synuclein aggregates can pass to new, healthy cells," said first author Paula Desplats, project scientist in UC San Diego's Department of Neurosciences. "We demonstrated how alpha-synuclein is taken up by neighboring cells, including grafted neuronal precursor cells, a mechanism that may cause Lewy bodies to spread to different brain structures."

"Our findings indicate that the stem cells used to replace lost or damaged cells in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients are also susceptible to degeneration,"

In a large proportion of Parkinson's disease cases, the aggregation of alpha-synuclein progresses in a predictable pattern – from the lower brainstem, into the limbic system and eventually to the neocortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher level cognitive functions. The hypothesis of disease progression by neuron-to-neuron transmission of alpha-synuclein that encouraged this study was supported by findings of two separate reports in 2008. In these studies, autopsies of deceased Parkinson's patients who had received implants of therapeutic fetal neurons 11 to 16 years prior revealed that alpha-synuclein had propagated to the transplanted neurons.

Next, the team tested to determine if alpha-synuclein could be transmitted directly from host to grafted cells in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Brains of the mouse model were grafted with fresh, healthy stem cells. Within four weeks, cells containing Lewy body-like masses were quite common, supporting the cell-to cell transmission mechanism.

There are substances that are touted as being able to "release more adult stem cells" from the bone marrow into the body.  See Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA)

Known sources:

Natural sources:





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Updated: July 2, 2012
Inception: July 2, 2012