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Dis Model Mech. 2009 Jan-Feb;2(1-2):23-38. doi: 10.1242/dmm.001198.

Progenitor cell therapies for traumatic brain injury: barriers and opportunities in translation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) directly affects nearly 1.5 million new patients per year in the USA, adding to the almost 6 million cases in patients who are permanently affected by the irreversible physical, cognitive and psychosocial deficits from a prior injury. Adult stem cell therapy has shown preliminary promise as an option for treatment, much of which is limited currently to supportive care. Preclinical research focused on cell therapy has grown significantly over the last decade. One of the challenges in the translation of this burgeoning field is interpretation of the promising experimental results obtained from a variety of cell types, injury models and techniques. Although these variables can become barriers to a collective understanding and to evidence-based translation, they provide crucial information that, when correctly placed, offers the opportunity for discovery. Here, we review the preclinical evidence that is currently guiding the translation of adult stem cell therapy for TBI.

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