Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22201944
Front Biosci (Elite Ed) 2012;4:1170-81
The central nervous system has a very poor regenerative potential and is difficult to access. This partly explains why neurological diseases often lack appropriate therapeutic options and represent the most significant burden for healthcare systems. Progress in understanding the molecular background of neurological diseases requires innovative approaches offering new hope for the patients. One of the most intriguing and promising options is the combination of stem cells with gene therapy. Unlike fibroblasts, stem cells exhibit a high tropism for disease-affected tissue and integrate into the nervous tissue. This makes them ideal candidates for the production and delivery of molecules of interest for treating the nervous system. This article reviews the methodology for obtaining pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as precursors for neuronal cells, glial cells and the current state of the art in applications of genetically modified stem cells in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, axonal damage, tumors and epilepsy.