The Practical Applications of Stem Cell Therapy After TBI

Researchers still need to discover the underlying "why" when looking at stem cell therapy for people with severe traumatic brain injury.

What would the practical applications of stem cell therapy be for a traumatic brain injury? [Deborah Shear, Ph.D. Walter Reed Army Institute of Research] We're not at the stage of, I think, answering that question yet. Mainly because when we see a functional recovery from stem cell transplants in animal models, and we can surmise that this happens too rapidly for it to be attributed to functional reconnectivity or cellular replacement or rewiring of the brain perse. That--you know--then it's more likely due to these neuroprotective factors that are being secreted by the cells. We still need to get at the underlying mechanisms. We need to know the why. And those are the studies that need to be designed and carried out in the future. And-- So I think those questions have to be answered before we can really determine what the practical applications of stem cell therapy for traumatic brain injury might be--if there there would be any.
Posted on BrainLine October 25, 2011.

Produced by Brian King, Ashley Gilleland, and Noel Gunther, BrainLine.