About this Research Topic
Stroke and acute spinal cord injury (SCI) are devastating acute neural disorders of great epidemiological and clinical importance worldwide. In these acute neurological conditions, primary damage to neurons and glial cells is followed by a multitude of secondary mechanisms contributing to further damage and functional impairment. A main pathological event in SCI is the disconnection of long axonal tracts conveying both sensory and motor signals. Therapeutic approaches aiming at enhancing axonal regeneration are of tremendous importance from both scientific and clinical perspectives. In the case of stroke, cell death follows obstruction (ischemic) or rupture (hemorrhagic) of blood vessels with secondary damage to both gray and white matter. Glial cells and several neuronal types are lost.
There are no effective therapies approved for stroke or SCI. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is used for ischemic stroke, but due to its narrow therapeutic window few patients are effectively benefited by this therapy. For SCI, high-dose methylprednisolone was approved by the FDA for the early treatment of human patients, but it is now considered highly ineffective. Considering the failure of pharmacological treatments for SCI and stroke, cell therapy using transplants of neural progenitors/stem cells are very promising approaches for potential neuronal replacement and functional recovery.
With this Research Topic, we intend to discuss innovative contributions to the field of cell therapy applied to SCI and stroke with emphasis on the transplants of neural stem cells or neural progenitor cells from different sources achieving neuroprotection, neuronal replacement, injured axon re-connection, and functional recovery using experimental models of these acute neural disorders. We also expect that the submitted manuscripts present the major challenges posed for future translational applications in human disease.
We, therefore, welcome Original Research Articles, Reviews, Perspectives, etc. on the transplants of neural stem cells or neural progenitors derived from embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and other sources for SCI and stroke therapies with a focus on the post-acute recovery phase. Innovative treatments for cell replacement for stroke or including neuronal relay approaches for SCI are particularly welcome.
Keywords: Neural Disorders, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Stem Cells, Cell Therapy
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