Chapter 15

Stem Cell Applications for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Marilene Hohmuth Lopes and Lilian Cruz

Abstract

Notwithstanding the past decades of research, efficient treatments for neurodegenerative diseases do not exist. However, stem cell therapies have become increasingly attractive options for a broad spectrum of human neurodegenerative diseases. Diverse classes of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), neural stem cells (NSCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be useful as a source material for understanding the basic biology of cellular differentiation, disease modeling, and provide novel sources for autologous cellular therapies in neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, the transplantation of stem cells or their derivatives and the mobilization of endogenous stem cells have been proposed in animal models of neurodegenerative disease as therapeutic mechanisms to restore function. In this chapter, we discuss some general issues relating to the scientific basis of stem cell–based therapies and their prospects in neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Total Pages: 341-362 (22)

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