Chemical Transformation of Human Glial Cells Studied for Brain Repair

Chemical Transformation of Human Glial Cells Studied for Brain Repair
A study published in Cell Stem Cell journal entitled "Small Molecules Efficiently Reprogram Human Astroglial Cells into Functional Neurons" showed that treatment of astroglial cells with a cocktail of nine small molecules resulted in neuron-like cells with similar electrical and neurotransmitter activities as functional neurons. The brain is the most complicated part of the human body. It is the center of intelligence which controls and implements the functions of memory, thoughts, speech and movement, among others. When the brain is healthy, it works automatically and quickly. However, if it is damaged by injury, trauma, stroke, or diseases such as Alzheimer's, various problems could appear. The signs and symptoms of brain disorders depend on the cause of the condition as well as the affected brain region, which might control movement, memory, or behavior. Some common symptoms of brain disorders include migraines, seizures, confusion, memory impairment, and behavioral, muscle, and vision problems. It is worth noting that brain disorders represent an enormous disease burden in terms of human suffering and economic cost. For example, data from World Health Organization estimated the total cost of brain disorders in Europe to be €798 billion in 2010, of which 60% was attributed to direct costs and 40% to loss of productivity. Brain tissue is composed of mainly two important types of cells: i) neurons and ii) glial cel
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