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Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Mar;34:39-50. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2016.11.002. Epub 2016 Nov 19.

Stem cell therapies in age-related neurodegenerative diseases and stroke.

Author information

1
Departments of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital University of Medicine, Beijing 100053, China.
2
Departments of Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital University of Medicine, Beijing 100053, China.
3
Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, United States.
4
Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, United States.
5
Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, United States; Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA 15240, United States. Electronic address: caog@upmc.edu.

Abstract

Aging, a complex process associated with various structural, functional and metabolic changes in the brain, is an important risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. These diseases share similar neuropathological changes, such as the formation of misfolded proteins, oxidative stress, loss of neurons and synapses, dysfunction of the neurovascular unit (NVU), reduction of self-repair capacity, and motor and/or cognitive deficiencies. In addition to gray matter dysfunction, the plasticity and repair capacity of white matter also decrease with aging and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Aging not only renders patients more susceptible to these disorders, but also attenuates their self-repair capabilities. In addition, low drug responsiveness and intolerable side effects are major challenges in the prevention and treatment of senile diseases. Thus, stem cell therapies-characterized by cellular plasticity and the ability to self-renew-may be a promising strategy for aging-related brain disorders. Here, we review the common pathophysiological changes, treatments, and the promises and limitations of stem cell therapies in age-related neurodegenerative diseases and stroke.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Neurodegenerative diseases; Plasticity; Self-renew; Stem cell; Stroke

PMID:
27876573
PMCID:
PMC5250574
DOI:
10.1016/j.arr.2016.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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