Stem Cells May Help Treat Mental Illness

Philosophicus
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Stem Cells May Help Treat Mental Illness

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2006/10/26/stem-cells-may-help-treat-mental-illness/

 

This article is from Oct 26, 2006.  I probably should have dug a little deeper for updates on the study, or even the whole study.


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 Indeed, you should dig

 

Indeed, you should dig deeper.

 

You don't post around here often, so you probably don't know that I have been a psychiatric social worker for the past 25 years. That site in known for fairly heavy handed political bias. Try rereading that article with a more skeptical and informed view and you will see that it gets in a dig on “the evil president who will not let us do whatever we want”. That comes off sounding like a four year old child being told no by mommy who then screams “fun spoiler!”

 

Actually, if you do some googling on the matter, you will see that a great many nations all banned or severely limited that type of research in the same general time frame. Pretty much the nation with the widest open door policy on that has been China but then, they don't have a great record as far as objective moral behavior goes.

 

Now, as to would the research actually work, who can say? In any case, it is irrelevant because during the time when the bans were on, researchers worked heavily on developing stem cell lines from adults which could be put to the same use. They have only had partial success on that as they have actually done it but at the price of activating cancer genes along the way. Still, they have done it.

 

Another thing to consider is that during the years when they could not do the research with human stem cells, they were still doing the same experiments with animal stem cells and the results they had there would never clear any ethics panel for human experimentation. The issue being that stem cells really can turn into anything and they have no idea how to control the process.

 

Teeth growing in brains, hair growing in eyeballs, occasional full embryos growing anywhere in the body. Even without the intentional use of cancer genes, sometimes the stem cells become cancer by themselves. The list is much longer than that but you get the picture.

 

It also bears noting that the researchers would have to show success in animals before any human experiments could have been done anyway, so the actual research was not even slowed down to any measurable degree.

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I did a little more digging.  The team of scientists was speaking at the 2006 Seoul Symposium on Stem Cell Research, Oct 20, 2006, Centennial Hall, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.  One of the scientists was Dong-Wook Kim from SCRC, Korea.  I found a study by him called Efficient Induction of Dopaminergic Neurons from Embryonic Stem Cells for Application to Parkinson's Disease   http://www.eymj.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0069YMJ/ymj-45-S23.pdf

Another scientist was Miles G. Cunningham from Harvard Medical School.  I found a study by him called Antidepressent effect of stem cell-derived monoaminergic grafts  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921864    The study at that link only contains the abstract, though.  I couldn't find the rest.