Discovery

Neurological Disease and Stroke


Grand Ballroom December 8, 2016 9:30 am - 10:30 am

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Franklin D. West, PhD
Emily W. Baker
Jeanne F. Loring, PhD
Brenda Castle

Neurological diseases and injuries such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke have a devastating impact on patients, patient families and society at large. Stem cell therapies have significant potential to treat patients that suffer from neurological disease by cell replacement or as generators of neural protective and regenerative factors. In the case of Parkinson’s disease where specific dopaminergic neurons are lost from discrete brain regions, it may one day be possible to transplant stem cell derived dopaminergic neurons back into the patient. These transplanted stem cells could form nascent connections and lead to the correction of functional deficits (i.e. arm and leg tremors, impaired balance). In the case of neural injuries including stroke and traumatic brain injury, transplant of stem cells could lead to replacement of damaged tissues. In addition, transplanted stem cells have also been shown to produce neuroprotective factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor and regenerative growth factors including VEGF that may stimulate angiogenesis in ischemic brain regions. Our panel will discuss recent breakthrough research in the area of neurological disease and injury and the road to translating these findings into patients.