X-Message-Number: 25960
From: "Basie" <>
Subject: The brain may be repaired
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 00:18:11 -0500

Protein might support brain healing
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 29 (UPI) -- In a step towards being able to treat 
brain damage, Massachusetts scientists have identified a molecule key to 
helping stem cells survive in one&apos;s brain.

In the developing brain, stem cells grow and then die through a 
pre-programmed form of disintegration called apoptosis. Apoptosis helps keep 
a brain from expanding beyond its normal size and shape.

The growth-promoting protein CPG15 moderates apoptosis, researchers at the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered. Researchers believe they 
may be able to use the protein to help normally occurring stem cells survive 
in the human brain.

If they are correct, the protein could offer an avenue to treat brain 
dysfunction. While a few areas of the adult brain have stem cells that can 
successfully regenerate neurons, many do not. Researchers suspect memory 
deficits and other disorders are a result of a lack of such stem cells and 
an inability to repair neurons.

If CPG15 can help those stem cells survive, it might help those areas of the 
brain repair themselves.

CPG15 may also help researchers successfully grow neurons outside the body 
that could then be planted where needed to replace damaged or diseased 

The research is described in the March issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International


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