Cell therapy for traumatic brain injury – Robert Hunt | UCI School of Medicine

Traumatic brain injury is something that affects
a lot of people, and it’s something that has no therapy—that’s been the focus of
my lab. It is trying to understand what happens to
the brain after traumatic brain injury, and how we can fix that. What we’ve been doing in the lab is trying
to develop ways to reconstruct the circuits that are lost, rewired or injured after brain
injury. And, one of the ways we’ve been developing
is stem cell-based therapy or a cell replacement therapy using a specific type of cell called
an interneuron that we implant into the brain of animals with traumatic brain injury. In this study, what we did was we implanted
interneurons into a region of the brain that is involved with learning and memory, and
seizure generation—two problems that people with TBI often have. What we found was about a
month after we injected cells into the animals, we were able to fully correct some of the
memory problems that these animals had and fully correct the seizures. The animals no longer had seizures. So, this was done first in animals, and this
the first step towards developing a future human therapy. So, what our lab is working on now is to try
and find ways to do this that would have human application. Please vote for us in the STAT Madness competition
in 2020. Thank you.

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