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Lab-Grown Brain Cells Hold Promise to Treat Neurological Conditions

Posted Jun 29 2013 10:08pm
Posted on June 26, 2013, 6 a.m. in Bioengineering Alzheimer's Disease Neurology Parkinsons Disease
Lab-Grown Brain Cells Hold Promise to Treat Neurological Conditions

The medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) cell is a type of human nerve-cell progenitor that plays a key role in neurodegenerative disorders ranging from Alzheimer's to Parkinson's diseases, epilepsy, and spinal cord diseases.  Arnold R. Kriegstein, from the University of California/ San Francisco (UCSF; California, USA), and colleagues have successfully grown MGEs in the laboratory and transplanted them to further develop in the brains of mice. The study authors submit that: "MGE-derived cortical interneuron deficiencies are implicated in a broad range of neurodevelopmental and degenerative disorders, highlighting the importance of these results for modeling human neural development and disease.”

Cory R. Nicholas, Jiadong Chen, Yunshuo Tang, Derek G. Southwell, Nadine Chalmers, Arnold R. Kriegstein, et al.  “Functional Maturation of hPSC-Derived Forebrain Interneurons Requires an Extended Timeline and Mimics Human Neural Development.”  Cell Stem Cell, Volume 12, Issue 5, 2 May 2013, Pages 573-586.

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Tip #182 - Think Zinc
Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) researchers investigated the intake of zinc in relation to risk of type-2 diabetes in American women. The team assessed data collected on participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, comprised of 82,297 women, ages 33 to 60 years at the study’s start. The researchers found that those women with the highest average daily intake of zinc were 10% less likely to develop type-2 diabetes. Further, those women with the highest average total intakes slashed their risk by 8%. Perhaps most importantly, the researchers showed that an increased intake of zinc was associated with a 28% reduction in type-2 diabetes.

Zinc is a plentiful trace element in the body, and it mediates many physiological functions. The US guidelines recommend that women ages 19-50 years consume 8 mg of zinc daily; men ages 19-50 years, 11 mg. Shiitake and crimini mushrooms, spinach, and pumpkin seeds are foods rich in zinc.
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