Human Stem Cells Fix Broken Neurons In Mice Brain
Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison published a study in April 2013 demonstrating that human stem cells can successfully implant themselves in the brains of mice and heal neurological deficits. Zhang cultivated the human stem cells in his lab. He then caused damage to a part of the mice brains involved with learning and memory which disabled them from recalling how to find a hidden platform in a water maze.
Subsequently Zhang transplanted the stem cells to the damaged areas of the mice brains, allowed time for integration of the stem cells, and retested the mice. He found the mice could now learn to find the hidden platform. After sacrificing the healed mice he observed that the stem cells had grown into healthy, functional, adult mouse neurons that interfaced with mouse neurons responsible for memory and learning. This pioneering work is not immediately applicable to fixing brain damage in human beings, but can serve as a model for potential future therapies.