Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified a molecular pathway that controls the retention and release of the brain’s stem cells.
Author Columbia University Medical Center
For decades, researchers have debated whether Alzheimer’s disease starts independently in vulnerable brain regions at different times, or if it begins in one region and then spreads to neuroanatomically connected areas.
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have for the first time directly converted human skin cells into functional forebrain neurons, without the need for stem cells of any kind. The findings offer a new and potentially more direct way to produce replacement cell therapies for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Such cells may prove especially useful for testing new therapeutic leads. The study was published in the August 4 online issue of the journal Cell.
Infants born prematurely are at risk for injuries to the white and gray matter of the brain that affect cortical development and neural connectivity. Certain forms of these injuries can be detected in the neonatal period using ultrasound, according to Columbia University Medical Center researchers.