Weekly reads: stem cells for ALS, cell wrinkles, editors quit

I’ve been writing The Niche now for more than 13 years and the idea of stem cells for ALS has been around that whole time. Unfortunately, it has been slow going on this front, but there are still reasons for hope. Probably now much more than ever before.

I’ll start with news on one path on the stem cells for ALS front. Note that you might find this recent piece I did on another, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics and Neurown, to be interesting too.

Clive Svendsen, ALS researcher
Noted stem cell biologist and ALS researcher Clive Svendsen.

Stem cells for ALS

Here’s the news that brought this topic back to mind. Regenerative Medicine: A New Path for ALS Treatment, Cedars Sinai.

This is about the clinical trial work of Richard Lewis and Clive Svendsen. The team has started a new trial. You can read more about the Svendsen lab.

From the story, “Last year, with an additional $12 million from CIRM, Cedars-Sinai investigators launched another first-ever, 16-patient safety trial, transplanting the GDNF-producing stem cells into the brain, in a region of the motor cortex that controls hand movement. The research team hopes the operation will leave patients with nothing worse than a scar under their hairline, and that they’ll see a positive effect on hand use, which the team will monitor in the ALS Clinic.”

At the same time as this real, concrete work is ongoing, we still have stem cell clinics selling unproven stem cells for ALS. It’s predatory in my view.

More recommended reads

Three reviews on clinical and translational work

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