Indexed on: 23 Mar '10Published on: 23 Mar '10Published in: TheScientificWorldJournal
The annual meeting of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR) has always introduced us to top-notch and up-to-date approaches for regenerative medicine related to neuroscience, ranging from stem cell-based therapy to novel drugs. The 16th ASNTR meeting focused on a variety of different topics, including the unknown pathogenesis or mechanisms of specific neurodegenerative diseases, stem cell biology, and development of novel alternative medicines or devices. Newly developed stem cells, such as amniotic epithelial stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, as well as well-known traditional stem cells, such as neural, embryonic, bone marrow mesenchymal, and human umbilical cord blood-derived stem cells, were reported. A number of commercialized stem cells were also covered at this meeting. Fetal neural tissues, such as ventral mesencephalon, striatum, and Schwann cells, were investigated for neurodegenerative diseases or spinal cord injury. A number of studies focused on novel methods for drug monitoring or graft tracking, and combination therapy with stem cells and medicine, such as cytokines or trophic factors. Finally, the National Institutes of Health guidelines for human stem cell research, clinical trials of commercialized stem cells without larger animal testing, and prohibition of medical tourism were big controversial issues that led to heated discussion.