The stem cells have been in the media for all the good reasons, scientists have been involved in research and trials on the viability of stem cells to be used in treatment of various conditions. The stem cells transplant has been seen as a potential therapeutic approach in treatment of traumatic brain injury as it helps in replacing the cells and tissues that are damaged as a result of a traumatic brain injury. Various types of stem cells such as the liver derived haemopoietic cells, embryonic rodent, immortalized progenitor cells and human stem cells and bone marrow-derived cells have been successfully transplanted in experimental models of traumatic brain injury resulting in reduced neurobehavioral deficits and attenuation of histological damage. However, till now there is still scarcity of literature on this issue and so it is rather unclear whether the stem cells can be transplanted and help in treatment of traumatic brain injury. the various ways through which the stem cells can be used in treating of traumatic brain injury include; cell replacement, trophic support, or manipulation of the local environment to stimulate endogenous regeneration but there is still a lot to be done to avail reliable information on this subject especially on the use of fetal neural stem cells which has been clouded with lots of controversy. there ought to be a sound understanding of the interaction between the recipient and the transplanted stem cells, the mechanism with which the stem cells work to restore the damaged cells ought to be understood especially how the immature fetal neural derived stem cells differentiate into mature neurons and help in treatment of traumatic brain injury, this can be achieved by further research on this issue.
In the past years, the approach toward the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has changed and taken a more restorative approach aiming at replacing and repairing the damaged tissues, cells and neurons damaged as a result of TBI. It is opined that the stem cell transplant is the best method for TBI treatment since the brain has a limited capacity to renew itself. The effectiveness of cell transplant in treating TBI has been seen in earlier experiments that involved transplantation of fetal neural tissues with or without nerve growth factor (NGF). In spite the effectiveness that was seen with the transplantation of fetal neural cells, a lot of controversy got sparked especially in concern of its practicality and ethics of its application.
On the other hand NT2N cells showed promise in graft survival, NGF gene therapy was also found to improve the cognitive deficits as a result of cortical contusion injury (CCI) in rodents. In most researches both rodent and human embryonic stem cells have shown encouraging results in survival, integration and attenuation of post-traumatic sequellae. The stem cells are flexible in treatment of disease as they possess the rare ability to differentiate into other cells and tissues hence can be used to replace the damaged cells in TBI. Particularly, the neural stem cells have the capacity to divide unlimitedly and differentiate into neurons as well as glial cells.
In a research done by Mahasweta Das, Subhra Mohapatra and Shyam S Mohapatra, It was found that mouse embryonic stem cells transplanted with or without a fibronectin scaffold following CCI improved behavioral symptoms . Xenotransplanted human neural stem cells have also been observed to survive in injured rodent brains and to express astrocytic and neuronal antigens. The transplanted cells migrated to the hippocampus, corpus callosum and ipsilateral sub-ependymal zone and reduced the number of degenerating neurons.
Of these stem cell types the bone marrow derived stem cells; hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells have been found to be advantageous when used as they can be harvested from the same patient and be transplanted in the brain of the same TBI patient hence limit the chances of donor unavailability or immune rejection. These cells have successfully been transplanted into injured rats by different routes where they express neural and glial cell markers and migrate to the subventricular zone, hippocampus and pericontusional areas showing neurogenesis and improved neurobehavioral outcome. The transplanted neural stem cells also modified to encode brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in rats after TBI and found significant improvement in graft survival, neurogenesis and behavioral outcome.
Another study in winster rats, that the functional improvement and colonization of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells were observed after TBI and the recovery was found to be facilitated by granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). Human fetal neural stem cells (hfNPCs) transplanted after CCI in rats increased angiogenesis and reduced astrogliosis. In these experiments it can be seen that stem cell transplant might have positive input in the treatment of TBI in humans. However, it is good to note that there are few trials that have been done on humans and so the use of fetal neural stem cell implantation in treatment of TBI should still be approached with caution until there would be enough wok to prove not only their safety but also their effectiveness.
Finally, for more information about bone marrow transplant and stem cell transplantation, visit www.awaremednetwork.com Dr. Dalal Akoury has garnered years of experience in integrative medicine and will be able to help. Feel free to visit http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com and know more about the upcoming Integrative Addiction Conference 2015. The conference will equip you with unique approaches of telling symptoms of addiction and how to help patients battling addiction.