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AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Case Western Reserve Scientists Develop New Method to More Efficiently Generate Brain Stem Cells

Generate Brain Stem Cells Technique Improves Understanding of Myelin Disease; Expands Ability to Screen Potential Therapies for Rare Pediatric Brain Disorder

In two newly published papers, a scientific team at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reports on the discovery and implementation of a new, more efficient method for generating an important brain stem cell in the laboratory. The findings pave the way for greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms of neurological disorders of myelin and ultimately, possible new treatment and prevention options. 

“Making these specialized brain stem cells on a large scale at high purity from pluripotent stem cells gives us a powerful tool to study previously inaccessible normal and diseased tissues in the central nervous system,” said the senior author of the two papers, Paul Tesar, PhD, the Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics and associate professor of genetics and genome sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “We applied our technology to genetic models of myelin disease, which resulted in the discovery of a chemical compound that helps diseased myelin-producing cells to survive.”

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