Re: [GRG] possible to grow large numbers of patient’s own brain cells

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Small brain biopsies can be used to grow large numbers of patient’s
own brain cells

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that these lab-grown
cells express a broad array of natural and potent protective agents
providing preservation and protection against injury, toxins and
diseases

Bethesda, MD—A group of really brainy scientists have moved closer
to growing “therapeutic” brain cells in the laboratory that can be
re-integrated back into patients’ brains to treat a wide range of
neurological conditions. According to new research published online
in The FASEB Journal, brain cells from a small biopsy can be used
to grow large numbers of new personalized cells that are not only
“healthy,” but also possess powerful attributes to preserve and
protect the brain from future injury, toxins and diseases.
Scientists are hopeful that ultimately these cells could be
transformed in the laboratory to yield specific cell types needed
for a particular treatment, or to cross the “blood-brain barrier”
by expressing specific therapeutic agents that are released
directly into the brain.

“This work is an example of how integrating basic science and
clinical care may reveal privileged opportunities for biomedical
research,” said Matthew O. Hebb, M.D., Ph.D., FRCSC, a researcher
involved in the work from the Departments of Clinical Neurological
Sciences (Neurosurgery), Oncology and Otolaryngology at the
University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada. “It is our hope
that the results of this study provide a footing for further
advancement of personalized, cell-based treatments for currently
incurable and devastating neurological disorders.”

Scientists enrolled patients with Parkinson’s disease who were
scheduled to have deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, a commonly
used procedure that involves placing electrodes into the brain.
Before the electrodes were implanted, small biopsies were removed
near the surface of the brain and multiplied in culture to generate
millions of patient-specific cells that were then subjected to
genetic analysis. These cells were complex in their make-up, but
exhibited regeneration and characteristics of a fundamental class
of brain cells, called glia. They expressed a broad array of
natural and potent protective agents, called neurotrophic factors.

“From an extremely small amount of brain tissue, we will one day be
able to do very big things,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-
Chief of The FASEB Journal. “For centuries, treating the brain
effectively and safely has been elusive. This advance opens the
doors to not only new therapies for a myriad of brain diseases, but
new ways of delivering therapies as well.”

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About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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