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Stem Cells May Help Treat Mental Illness

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MonteSano Donating Member (109 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:00 AM
Original message
Stem Cells May Help Treat Mental Illness
A team of international scientists has found through rodent experiments that embryonic stem cells can help control psychological disorders, such as depression.

Drs. Miles Cunningham and Kim Kwang-soo at Harvard Medical School and Prof. Kim Dong-wook at Yonsei University recently announced their collaborative findings at the 2006 Seoul Symposium on Stem Cell Research at Yonsei University.

``Our team differentiated embryonic stem cells into nerve cells generating dopamine and serotonin while Dr. Cunningham devised a model of psychiatric disease for applying our technology, engrafting and evaluating approximately 80 animals, Kim said.

``Then, the animals behaved as if they had taken anti-depressant medication. The tests demonstrate embryonic stem cells may be used to treat mental diseases in the future, Kim said.


http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/200610/kt20061022194536...
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rsmith6621 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Even For geoge.....


Im sending this article to the white house.....
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. How wonderful
And welcome to DU! :hi:
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. Imagine the possibilities
Roughly 25% of Americans suffer from mental illnes in any given year. This could provide a cure for them--including those with chronic debilitating illnesses--and let them live normal, productive lives again.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That would be pretty extreme
25% of Americans getting brain implants every year?
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. The 25% figure includes those who suffer from chronic MI
People who may have been suffering for years or even decades, so it wouldn't be 25% of people getting therapy every year. The first wave would be large, but after that only a small fraction of people--the newly diagnosed--would be getting the therapy.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 06:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Nah - these new stem-cell neurons would learn same as the old
The way they test mice for antidepressants is by torturing the mice until they are depressed. Then they apply whatever "therapy" and see if the mice forget how miserable their lives are.
The new stem cell neurons, if healthy in all other respects, would simply learn and adapt to their new environment the way all the other neurons did - it's hopelesse. The stem-cell treatment would "poop-out" and a fresh batch of naive neurons would have to be injected on a regular basis.

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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Depression is not that cut and dried
While it is indeed situationally induced/psychological sometimes (e.g., life sucks so people get depressed), it is typically a chemically based (psychiatric)disorder--and situations can even induce chemical imbalances that lead to depression. People who have perfectly good lives, even great lives, get depressed (though as a result of the depression they often feel their lives are horrible).

And why should the treatment "poop out" and need refreshing? Are you basing that on scientific research or just speculation?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Actually that's not the case
in all forms of mood disorders. For example, genetic problems with mitochondria in the brain have been associated with bipolar disorder. If one could replace enough of those with healthy functioning cells that etiology at least could be "cured."

I suspect the same holds true for other mechanisms as well.

Unfortunately, mood disorders are VERY complicated and one size or DSM category surely does NOT fit all.

It's more of a mood spectrum. Also certain other categories: i.e. attachment disorders like borderline would probably not be amenable to this sort of treatment.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Bio-social theory for the etiology of BPD
As far as I am aware, the current theory on how borderline personality disorder develops is the notion of a interaction between inherent biological characteristics (emotional sensitivity) and environment (an invalidating home environment). Seems to me that if stem cells would be able to affect the biological characteristics, then that might be able to do some good for BPDers.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. Love the nickname!
My town!
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