In recent years, scientists have discovered a new stem cell that could help brains self-repair following an injury or serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This “sleeping” stem cell has been dubbed the “G2 quiescent stem cell” and appears to have considerable capacity for regeneration. Like other stem cells, it can transform into virtually any specialized cell type in the body.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge believe that if they find a way to leverage these powerful cells properly, they could be used in place of invasive surgeries. While the brain has tremendous capabilities, it does not self-repair effectively. These cells, which are locked into a dormant state, could generate more healthy brain cells if awoken.
The challenge lies in activating the cells—a process the researchers have yet to figure out how to do. Nonetheless, once they are awoken, they quickly start generating neurons and glia, critical brain cells.
The research was revealed through findings in fruit fly studies. Since the diseases in humans and the flies share similar genetic properties, the scientists believe the insects made for promising test subjects.
The researchers were able to identify which gene controls the G2 cells and causes them to become dormant. If they can pinpoint how to block this gene and therefore rouse the stem cells, enormous healing potential could be unlocked.
Although there is a long way to go until treatments could be rolled out, using the G2 cells as a natural healing agent could be an effective way to mitigate the effects of brain damage. There is still much that scientists don’t know about the brain and its workings, but these findings hold promise and represent a step in the right direction.
These findings uncover that there may be even more potential for regenerative medicine for the future of medicine. Today, many explore the options with mesenchymal stem cells for those with traumatic brain injuries.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.