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Front Comput Neurosci. 2013 Nov 6;7:150. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2013.00150. eCollection 2013.

Perspectives for computational modeling of cell replacement for neurological disorders.

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1
1Cognitive Modeling Group, Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Abstract

Mathematical modeling of anatomically-constrained neural networks has provided significant insights regarding the response of networks to neurological disorders or injury. A logical extension of these models is to incorporate treatment regimens to investigate network responses to intervention. The addition of nascent neurons from stem cell precursors into damaged or diseased tissue has been used as a successful therapeutic tool in recent decades. Interestingly, models have been developed to examine the incorporation of new neurons into intact adult structures, particularly the dentate granule neurons of the hippocampus. These studies suggest that the unique properties of maturing neurons, can impact circuit behavior in unanticipated ways. In this perspective, we review the current status of models used to examine damaged CNS structures with particular focus on cortical damage due to stroke. Secondly, we suggest that computational modeling of cell replacement therapies can be made feasible by implementing approaches taken by current models of adult neurogenesis. The development of these models is critical for generating hypotheses regarding transplant therapies and improving outcomes by tailoring transplants to desired effects.

KEYWORDS:

cerebral cortex; dentate gyrus; embryonic stem cells; functional integration; induced pluripotent stem cells; neurogenesis; stroke

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