A group of Professor Mari Dezawa and Professor Eiji Tominaga of Tohoku University succeeded in recovering the nerve function lost due to cerebral infarction in an animal experiment using stem cells existing in human skin called muse cells.

 Annual medical expenses related to cerebral infarction exceed 1 trillion yen, and it is expected that they will continue to increase with the aging of the population.Although the development of drugs and treatments is progressing, there is no fundamental treatment, and the number of patients with residual sequelae or bedridden is increasing.A method for regenerating cells lost in such a situation is expected as a new therapeutic method, and a method using cells separated from bone marrow has been investigated.However, the therapeutic effect is limited, and it has been desired to develop a treatment method from another approach.

 The research group focused on muse cells, which are stem cells that exist in human skin.Although it is not all-purpose, it has pluripotency that naturally exists in the body.When human-derived muse cells were transplanted into rats with cerebral infarction, it was confirmed that they spontaneously differentiated into nerve cells without introducing a special gene.Introducing a gene into a stem cell to differentiate into a specific cell increases the risk of developing a tumor, which greatly increases the safety of treatment.It was also confirmed that as the cells proliferate, the motor / sensory network from the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord is reconstructed.The restored function was maintained even after 3 months, and no tumor formation was observed.

 The results of this research are expected to be completed in advance and linked to clinical application within three years.First of all, we will consider the treatment of cases of relatively small cerebral infarction.If the results are good, the range of treatment for wider cerebral infarction will be expanded.

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