A cohort of researchers from South Korea, Sweden and the US has successfully restored neuron functions to parts of a brain damaged by Huntington’s disease.
The team transplanted Huntington’s disease induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into animal models with damage to their deep brain structure called the striatum.
Following the transplant it was observed that the models exhibited significant behavioural recovery.
Researchers hope that iPSCs, which are engineered from human somatic cells like skin, will eventually be able to be used in humans to treat Huntington’s disease.
Dr Jihwan Song, co-author of the study, commented: “The unique features of the iPSC approach means that the transplanted cells will be genetically identical to the patient and therefore no medications that dampen the immune system to prevent graft rejection will be needed.”
iPSCs are key for disease modelling and treating many common conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and dental complaints.
They also hold potential for treating other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Find out how Barchester works to create safe and understanding environments for those living with Huntington's disease.