UCI News

Stem cells can improve memory after brain injury

New UC Irvine research is among the first to demonstrate that neural stem cells may help to restore memory after…

November 3, 2007

New UC Irvine research is among the first to demonstrate that neural stem cells may help to restore memory after brain damage. In the study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, mice with brain injuries experienced enhanced memory – similar to the level found in healthy mice – up to three months after receiving a stem cell treatment. Scientists believe the stem cells secreted proteins called neurotrophins that protected vulnerable cells from death and rescued memory. This creates hope that a drug to boost production of these proteins could be developed to restore the ability to remember in patients with neuronal loss. UCI scientists Frank LaFerla, Mathew Blurton-Jones and Tritia Yamasaki worked on this study.