Researchers in Mexico have taken cells from the bone marrow of MND patients and injected them back in to their brains in an attempt to stimulate new neuronal growth. Their findings were published in the journal Cytotherapy on 3 February 2009. The treatment is “a well-tolerated procedure” reports Dr Martinez and co-workers.

Although this result shows that this type of therapy is well tolerated in MND patients, it is too early to tell how effective it has been. While other researchers are trying to examine and understand the smallest details of the stem cells they intend to use, some groups are not. The current study used cells that could potentially grow up to become microglia or other immune cells. Many reports have shown that these types of immune cells are damaging to the MND brain. So although stem cell based therapies are very exciting, some caution must be taken.

Source: International MND research update – March 2009, Dr Justin Yerbury for MNDRIA

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