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Stem cells as promising therapeutic options for neurological disorders



Due to the limitations of pharmacological and other current therapeutic strategies, stem cell therapies have emerged as promising options for treating many incurable neurologic diseases. A variety of stem cells including pluripotent stem cells (i.e., embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells) and multipotent adult stem cells (i.e., fetal brain tissue, neural stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells from various sources) have been explored as therapeutic options for treating many neurologic diseases, and it is becoming obvious that each type of stem cell has pros and cons as a source for cell therapy. Wise selection of stem cells with regard to the nature and status of neurologic dysfunctions is required to achieve optimal therapeutic efficacy. To this aim, the stem cell-mediated therapeutic efforts on four major neurological diseases, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and stroke, will be introduced, and current problems and future directions will be discussed. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 743–753, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.