New research suggests that scientists may be able to restore memories by inserting neutral stem cells into damaged brains.
A team at Texas A&M University have been trialing inserting stem cells on to the hippocampus – the centre of emotion and memory in the brain – to regenerate tissue growth.
Ashok K. Shetty PHD, Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine told Stem Cells Transitional Medicine journal: “We chose the hippocampus because it's so important in learning, memory and mood function.”
By grafting the cells into the hippocampus, there is real potential for regeneration of memories and treating brain age-related deterioration.
This particular type of work is not new, but all previous treatment with donor neutral stem cells had focused on young brains.
Now new techniques are allowing scientists to successfully graft the stem cells on to aged brains as well.
In human terms, the treatments could treat a 70-year-old with the same success as the brain of a child as the cells not only survive after implant but go on to divide and thrive.
Professor Shetty told Science Daily: “We are interested in understanding aging in the brain. Next, we want to test what impact, if any, the implanted cells have on behavior and determine if implanting neural stem cells can actually reverse age-related learning and memory deficits.”
Success with this project in the long term could mean successful treatment of age related deterioration such as dementia and loss of cognitive function.