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Article review(Replanting the Brain's Forest. ) - Essay Example

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Name: Class Section: Name of Magazine: Scientific American Date of Publication: April 2013 Name of Article: Replanting the Brain’s Forest Page Numbers of Article: p.55-57 Name of the Author: Jabr, Ferris Synopsis The article “Replanting the Brain’s Forest” by Ferris Jabr focuses on the past, the present and the future of stem cell treatment for neurodegenerative disorders…
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Download file to see previous pages The processes of replacing the cells otherwise believed before by scientists to have been gone forever breathe life into a new field of scientific research. The 1990s was a pivotal point in stem cell research when neuroscientists delved on a more sophisticated application of the procedure. By grafting fetal brain tissue directly to the diseased brain, the experiment hoped to substitute the dead neurons with the new artificial ones. The results, however, were disappointing. The article then goes on to elaborate the new take of scientists to improve on the process by growing neurons in the laboratory and then injecting them directly to the person’s brain. This, the author again underlines, may not be used as a conventional therapy within the next two decades as believed by many experts (Jabr para. 2). Stem cell therapy has a wide range that is not only limited to the brain. In order to delineate the scope of the article, its application to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease were the main concentration of the article. Parkinson’s disease published the most significant results. ...
The distance became the main problem in this research and to address this problem, subsequent researchers grafted directly to the striatum which yielded better results. The same experiment was conducted with monkeys and the same progress in motor functions was seen with normative dopamine levels than before. This is believed by to be attributable to inherent growth factors in the striatum (Jabr para 4-5). Research in Sweden in the 1990s propelled further research as adopted in the United States and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They implemented two focus groups on the trials, with one receiving transplant and another undergoing a sham surgery. Similar to the previous experiments, the results were disappointing as there was no significant development in both groups. Unsurprisingly, there are differences of opinion on the failure of the experiments. Andres Bjorklund argues that this is because the researchers set unreasonably high expectations at an inconsiderably short amount of time. In fact, in a follow up study it has been found that some patients who had received grafted cells had progressed two years and four years after the NIH conducted study (Jabr para 6-7). The future seems to be hopeful in stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. Lorenz Studer is providing new benchmark by developing a standardized way of transferring fetal tissue through closely monitoring the growth if neurons in the laboratory. Trial is expected to be conducted to humans within the next three to four years (Jabr para. 8). This is seen to be the future for Parkinson’s and if the results will prove to be considerably ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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