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Feb 6, 2012
Scientists discover more benefits of umbilical blood that could delay the progression of ALS
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Researchers at the University of South Florida have discovered more benefits of umbilical cord blood. A new study shows that when mice modeling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, were injected repeatedly with low doses of cells from umbilical cord blood, it was found to be effective in protecting motor neuron cells, delaying disease progression and increasing lifespan. The researchers used mononuclear human umbilical cord blood (MNC hUBC) because it contains many primitive stem cells that can develop into different kinds of cells, including neural cells. “Unfortunately, in humans we have no clear way to identify who is going to get ALS in advance of symptoms in the vast majority of patients,” Clifton L. Gooch, professor and chair of the USF Department of Neurology, said. “Consequently, the fact that MNC hUBC therapy works -- even when given after symptom onset -- is very important and makes it more likely that this approach may also work in humans.”

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