Thursday, May 29, 2008

Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Promise

No disease - not Alzheimer's, Autism, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson's nor any other condition - is going to be cured anytime soon by stem cell research; however, I think it is important that we cheer the advances. Most important to me is that people hear that the true promise has been found in adult stem cell research, not emybronic. It seems that we have rushed forward toward what we perceive to be the bravest newest world, while wholeheartedly tangling a major portion of our financial and intellectual resources, without first pausing to analyze all of our options.

I offer this article teaser in the spirit of "Keep the Faith":

Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Gains in Treating Lou Gehrig's Disease
Vancouver, Canada -- A new study shows more success for adult stem cells, an ethical and more effective means of stem cell research than embryonic. A unique pilot study has established a safe pathway for using bone-marrow stem cells to slow down and potentially treat Lou Gehrig's disease. Also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the condition is a fatal neurodegenerative disease without cure.
Dr. Neil Cashman, professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia and director of the ALS program at Vancouver Coastal Health and VCH Research Institute, headed the study. He published the results in the latest issue of the medical journal Muscle & Nerve. In the study he and his colleagues tested the use of a growth factor stimulant in ALS patients and found that bone-marrow stem cells became activated with no adverse effects to patients. “Our idea was to use a growth factor stimulant to increase the number of circulating stem cells from within the body’s bone marrow where they would have the potential to travel to the site of injury and begin repair, slowing down the progression of ALS,” says Cashman. “This pathway, if one day successful, may provide a new therapy that will avoid the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells,” he explained. Full story at

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