Research Topic

Stem Cells and Aging

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The advent of stem cells has provided a key scientific tool and a potent therapeutic agent for understanding the pathology and the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Because stem cells recapitulate cellular development, the application of cultured stem cells in a petri dish, which have been ...

The advent of stem cells has provided a key scientific tool and a potent therapeutic agent for understanding the pathology and the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Because stem cells recapitulate cellular development, the application of cultured stem cells in a petri dish, which have been upgraded to brain-on-a-chip and organoids, has allowed in-depth probing of cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation under homeostatic and pathologic conditions.

The subsequent introduction of patient-derived stem cells, as in the case of induced pluripotent stem cells derived from healthy patients or those diagnosed with a neurological disorder, has further closely approximated cellular development especially under the aging condition. In parallel, the stemness property of these cells has ushered cell-based regenerative medicine, demonstrating their therapeutic capacity to replace dead or dying cells, as well as affording by-stander effects such as secretion of neurotrophic, neurogenic, angiogenic, vasculogenic, and anti-inflammatory factors. Cell therapy has emerged as an experimental treatment, reaching clinical trials over the last 3 decades for a number of aging-related disorders.

Here, we present milestone studies in basic science, translational medicine, and clinical research detailing the discovery, mechanism, and therapeutic applications of stem cells in aging related neurological disorders. We bring together pioneers and experts whose studies on stem cells have improved our understanding and treatment of Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.

This Research Topic welcomes the critical analysis of the stem cell field as a cellular development tool and as a therapeutic regimen, in the hopes of further advancing the field of cell-based regenerative medicine for aging related neurological disorders. Themes of particular interest include:

1) stem cell tools for cellular development (e.g., brain-on-a-chip and organoids)
2) laboratory and clinical investigations on stem cell transplantation.

Other themes of interest include exploring both stem cell tools and therapeutic applications in each of the 4 aging neurological disorders listed above.


Statement of Competing Interest:
Dr. Borlongan and Dr. Steinberg serve as consultants to stem cell-based companies, hold patents and patent applications, and have funded grants related to stem cell biologics and applications.


Keywords: neurological disorders, transplantation, neurodegeneration, regenerative medicine, basic science, translational, clinical trials


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