Stem cells in neuroinjury and neurodegenerative disorders: Challenges and future neurotherapeutic prospects

Tarek H. Mouhieddine, Firas H. Kobeissy, Muhieddine Itani, Amaly Nokkari, Kevin K.W. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases and neural injury disorders is increasing worldwide. Research is now focusing on improving current neurogenesis techniques including neural stem cell therapy and other biochemical drug-based approaches to ameliorate these disorders. Unfortunately, we are still facing many obstacles that are rendering current neurotherapies ineffective in clinical trials for reasons that are yet to be discovered. That is why we should start by fully understanding the complex mechanisms of neurogenesis and the factors that affect it, or else, all our suggested therapies would fail since they would not be targeting the essence of the neurological disorder but rather the symptoms. One possible paradigm shift is to switch from neuroprotectant therapies towards neurodegeneration/neurorestorative approaches. In addition, other and our laboratories are increasingly focusing on combining the use of pharmacological agents (such as Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitors or other growth factors (such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)) and stem cell treatment to enhance the survivability and/or differentiation capacity of transplanted stem cells in neurotrauma or other neurodegeneration animal models. Ongoing stem cell research is surely on the verge of a breakthrough of multiple effective therapeutic options for neurodegenerative disorders. Once, we fully comprehend the process of neurogenesis and its components, we will fully be capable of manipulating and utilizing it. In this work, we discuss the current knowledge of neuroregenerative therapies and their associated challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-906
Number of pages6
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • BDNF
  • Growth factors
  • Neural stem cells
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinjury
  • Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitor
  • Stem cell therapy
  • TBI

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