LOS ANGELES, December 20, 2002 ( – Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have used stem cells from bone marrow to generate brain cells and nervous system cells that can be used to treat brain cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases.

“Neural stem cells have a lot of characteristics that make them an attractive means of treating neurological disorders—but they come from precarious sources,” said Dr. John Yu, co-director of the brain tumor program and lead author of the study.

The journal Experimental Neurology recounts how they injected genetically engineered neural stem cells into the arteries of rats with stroke-related brain lesions. Forty-eight hours later, they found transplanted cells distributed throughout the damaged part of the brain. Similar results have been seen in human tissue, Dr. Yu said, noting that Cedars-Sinai hopes to begin testing the technique in stroke or brain tumor patients within a year.


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