The Future of Brain Repair - a Realist`s Guide to Stem Cell Therapy  


The Future of Brain Repair - a Realist`s Guide to Stem Cell Therapy
Mit Press | October 20, 2020 | 288 pages
ISBN: 9780262043755

"The Ultimate Therapy addresses the question: will stem cells bring about new, effective therapies for brain disorders? Stem cell therapies are the subject of enormous hype. The International Society for Stem Cell Research notes the 'near magical hold' that stem cell therapies have over patients' imaginations. This is not healthy. The intention with this book is to try to introduce some realism into this discussion. Certainly, stem cell therapies have real therapeutic promise, but it is important that patients, doctors, ethicists, regulators, and the public at large understand their potential and their limitations. Stem cell therapies have failed in the past. We need to understand why, and learn for the future. The therapies offered by unlicensed clinics are not the same as those going forward into proper regulated trials. We all need to understand the difference, and why it matters. Regenerative medicine for the brain-were it to emerge-would be the ultimate therapy. Brain diseases are more than just killers. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke steal our capacity for thought, emotion, and social interaction. They destroy human faculties to a far greater degree even than disorders such as cancer. Further, repairing brain tissue is the ultimate biomedical challenge. The human brain is the most complex structure in the known universe, a structure we still barely understand. To be able to rebuild it once damaged is surely the ultimate prize for biomedical science. It is also the ultimate ethical challenge. We can rebuild joints, reconstitute blood, and regenerate liver with barely a thought for ethical concerns. But the prospect for brain repair stirs atavistic fears. Will I be the same person with new brain cells in my head? Stem cells offer the prospect for bringing this ultimate therapy to life, in a way that could be envisaged for no other therapeutic vehicle. Repairing brain with stem cells: truly the Ultimate Therapy"--