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Stem cells can help repair damaged brains

Transplanted stem cells stimulate other cells in the repairing of the brain, a scientist at Bern University Hospital has discovered.

This content was published on July 12, 2011 - 10:38
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Along with colleagues at Stanford University in the United States, Robert Andres conducted experiments on rats, the results of which add weight to the theory that stem cell therapy is one of the main hopes of modern medicine.

The idea is for stem cells to be introduced into damaged tissue, where they then transform into the necessary type of cell. Scientists hope that stem cells will one day be able to link nerve endings in the brain that have been damaged after a stroke.

Andres, from the Department of Neurosurgery at Bern University Hospital, admitted scientists were still not fully sure of how the stem cells have an effect. He added, however, that the results are significant for the use of stem cells with humans.

“We now know that the timing, the location and the type of transplanted cell plays an important role,” he said.

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