Neurodegenerative diseases as well as acute center nervous system (CNS) injuries remains a problematic and frustrating area of medicine in terms of treatments and cures, which is mostly due to the complex circuitry of the CNS along with our limited knowledge. Therapeutically, the last two and a half decades have offered new hope for those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases or injuries with advent of new drug discoveries and cellular therapies. Cell transplantation is a compelling and potential treatment for certain neurological and neurodegenerative diseases as well as for acute injuries to the spinal cord and brain. The hematopoietic system offers an alternative source of cells that is easily obtainable, abundant, and reliable when compared to cells obtained from fetal or embryonic origins. Human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) cells have been used clinically for over ten years to treat both malignant and non-malignant diseases. With in the last five years these cells have been used pre-clinically in animal models of brain and spinal cord injuries, in which functional recovery have been shown. This paper reviews the advantages, utilization, and progress of HUCB cells in the field of cellular transplantation and repair.
Keywords: human umbilical cord blood cells, neurodegeneration, neural stem cells, cell replacement, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, als, transplantation, neural and neuronal phenotypes, immunocytochemistry
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