The potential applications of stem cell therapies for treating neurological disorders are enormous. Many laboratories are focusing on stem cell treatments for CNS diseases, including spinal cord injury, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and epilepsy. Among the many stem cell types under testing for neurological treatments, the most common are fetal and adult brain stem cells, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells. An expanding toolbox of molecular probes is now available to allow analyses of neural stem cell fates prior to and after transplantation. Concomitantly, protocols are being developed to direct the fates of stem cell-derived neural progenitors, and also to screen stem cells for tumorigenicity and aneuploidy. The rapid progress in the field suggests that novel stem cell and gene therapies for neurological disorders are in the pipeline.
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