About this Research Topic
Neurodegenerative disorders have in common that one or more cell type degenerate during the progression of the disease leading to motor, sensory, autonomic, cognitive and psychiatric impairments.
Cell replacement therapy aims to restore function by re-introducing new cells into the CNS to substitute the lost. The past years have witnessed fascinating developments in obtaining novel cell sources for such assignment ranging from the patients’ own cells through re-programming or trans-differentiation to the generation of chimeric animals for xenotransplantation. The interest and efforts that are put in this field is extensive and has led to the development of hESC (human embryonic stem cells)-derived as well as iPSC-(induced pluripotent stem cell)- derived dopaminergic neurons that are currently tested in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, a plethora of technologies has become available to analyze the quality and function of these novel cells on an unprecedented level. These include gene expression profiling, visualizing their connectivity, and probing their function.
Thus far, there are many unanswered questions to whether cells from novel sources can become functional, subtype-specific and if they can restore functional deficits that relate to clinical aspects of a specific brain disease. Brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and Stroke lack effective treatments, representing major healthcare challenges and leading causes of burden in modern societies. For many of these brain diseases, there are currently no effective treatments. Therefore the field of regeneration is at the forefront of brain research and will continue to expand and explore future possibilities for the quest for brain repair.
In light of this endeavor, we bring together new evidence and compile recent efforts to regenerate the nervous system in order to electrically, structurally, and functionally repair the brain. This Research Topic collection expects to host reviews, original research as well as hypotheses articles to showcase the recent advances and new avenues towards nervous system regeneration.
Keywords: Stem cells, iPSC, reprogramming, neurodegenerative disorders, restoration
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