Modulation of Stem Cells as Therapeutics for Severe Mental Disorders

Some very interesting bits in this paper.

It may be time to combine stem cell mechanisms and stem cell transplant with recent advances in MRI diagnosis and positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging and progress in computational neuroscience, potentially targeting brain pathology to cognitive impairments.

Transplantation of interneurons may facilitate host preceding neurons that can excite, inhibit, or stop the action of other neurons. Combined with an artificial activation on transplanted cells and transplant area, the connection between transplanted neurons and host neurons of high plasticity via synaptic formation may improve neuro-transmission, maintain balances between these cells and between excitatory and inhibitory signals, and help the individual function normally (i.e., cognition, learning and memory, etc.).

Intranasal administration has been considered as an efficient and non-invasive medication route to the brain or even for systemic administration to the CNS (59). The cells delivered within the nasal cavity have demonstrated the ability to migrate towards different brain regions, including the brainstem regions, cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and striatum, and even to the spinal cord (60). Moreover, the intranasal delivery of cells to targeted regions is less likely to generate ectopic tissue compared to systematic injections.

Intranasal delivery of stem cells has been demonstrated to increase retention and improve neurological/psychiatric outcomes. It is expected to facilitate cell homing toward the CNS and to avoid some potential side effects caused by other methods such as intravascular administration. Since there are intranasally delivered peptides, small molecules, viruses, plasmid, and bacterial phages that demonstrate successive entry into the brain, we also expect treatment via the intranasal delivery of cells to the CNS to be adopted for translation to the clinic.

Promotion of oligodendrogenesis and myelination can lead to functional benefits and regeneration to combat abnormal neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration of SMI. Modulation of stem cells and physiological Ca2±dependent/activated proteins will be tested in future pre-clinical models and translational studies. Wnt signaling may be critical regulators of these mechanisms in psychiatry and stem cell transplantation therapy for regeneration and repair. Intranasal delivery of hypoxic preconditioned stem cells may be the most appropriate method for psychotic disorders. Neuroimaging is useful in the pathophysiological study of SMI and the evaluation for treatments based on changes in neural activities and WM integrity. Higher-resolution precise imaging may further allow the development of stem cell treatment targeting specific brain regions.

Always nice to read things like “translation to the clinic” ie, eventually using it in people. It looks like this paper is a Chinese/American collaboration, and I notice that they cited JJ Donnegan, one of the people who was doing stem cell treatment in rodent models of SZ, but that she is not an author on this paper.


This is really interesting. Can’t find a lot more support for stem cell therapy though other than the Daniel Lodge research. Would be nice to have a better treatment in my lifetime or even be able to prevent.

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I find it encouraging they are talking about specifics of delivery (intranasal), and actually mentioning translation from animals to people. Even though I know this is possibly a decade or more out, I have read papers from 2007, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2020 and it’s clearly, but ever so slowly, progressing.

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I would have lost most of my life until they find a real working cure for schizophrenia and its negative symptoms.

Good article btw

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You think this is a cure?

No its like a very very early study. If it is, it would take at least 20 years to even start clinical trials.

They’re just making a theory, its not even a study lol

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They cite a number of animal and lab studies. But none in humans. (In SZ; there are human studies in stroke and Parkinson’s.)

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very interesting, thank you

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