Breakthrough research involving a brain transplant of stem cells could offer hope for the treatment of both autism and Parkinson’s disease.
The study, from Harvard University, has already proven successful with mice. Following the transfer of healthy stem cells from mouse embryos into the brains of adult mice who were unable to use leptin, a hormone that tells the body when to stop eating, the mice were able to process the hormone and went on to lose weight.
Scientists chose to study the effects of obesity because it would yield obvious results regarding the efficacy of the experiment. With such strong results, the next step for researchers is to “ask parallel questions of other parts of the brain and spinal cord, those involved in ALS [motor neuron disease] and with spinal cord injuries.”