Stem Cells and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Pp. 166-192 (27)
Hanaa H. Ahmed, Hadeer A. Aglan and Ahmed A. Abd-Rabou
Neurodegenerative diseases are a major concern of our present time and
which underpin the ageing era that invades the world. The Neurodegenerative diseases
are caused by certain neuronal loss in specific regions of the brain. Alzheimer’s disease
(AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are some of the examples of the neurodegenerative
diseases that have no fundamental cure available. Some drug treatments can alleviate
the symptoms associated with the neurodegenerative diseases. However, they do not
tackle the main pathological factors and cannot be clinically suitable for all patients.
Moreover, they are not affordable by all patients as a long term medicine. Therefore,
developing new and effective medications for AD and PD is deemed necessary. Recent
research has aimed at developing therapies that modify the disease. These therapies
perform their actions by interacting with the pathophysiologic cascade in order to
postpone the disease onset or prevents the progression from occurring on a fast pace.
Embryonic and Adult stem cells have demonstrated high therapeutic potential for tissue
regeneration. As well, cell replacement therapy would introduce cure for these
neurological disorders. Treatment of neurodegenerative diseases using stem cell
transplantation has attracted a great deal of attention lately. This is owing to the fact
that stem cells are readily available, can be easily expanded in culture, and can have
sustainability when transplanted for relatively long periods of time. Moreover, the
growth factors and cytokines released by stem cells facilitate neo-vascularization of
damaged tissue leading to neurogenesis, as well as affording anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic,
and anti-oxidative effects among other reparative responses. From this point
of view, stem cell therapy will provide a powerful and effective cure for most of
neurodeteriorative diseases in the near future.
Alzheimer’s disease, Neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Stem
Medical Research Division, National Research Center, 12622, Cairo, Egypt.