Stem cells and, drug research and development
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells and they have so much potential for the development of new drugs which can better work for the diseases of human beings, which have no other effective therapy.
Attempts are under process for the treatment of type-1 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease (PD) with the help of stem cells. Although the development of stem cells for therapeutic purposes is a very complicated process but this complication has not hindered the research on stem cell biology and the work is on. For example, stem cells are researched
1. to stimulate neurogenesis for the treatment of stroke
2. for traumatic brain damage
3. Alzheimer’s disease or other diseases of mood or cognition or
4. to inhibit stem cell like cells in solid tumors.
According to researchers, there are three major points in the advancement of stem cell research:
1. the pathways that regulate embryonic development are also disrupted in adult disease
2. motor neurons and other neurons are helpful in the development of mouse spinal cord
3. adult cells can be reprogrammed to induce pluripotent stem cells.
Stem cells are also found to be a useful tool to study drug efficacy and safety, selection of patient population for clinical testing and pathology of the diseases.
References and further reading:
Rubin, L. L. et al. (2011). Stem cell biology and drug discovery. BMC Biology, 9(42)