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Stem cells cure depression in mice

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Oct 22,2006
Stem cell therapy cures depression in mice, according to a new study at Yonsei and Harvard universities. On Friday groups led by Miles Cunningham and Kim Kwang-soo, professors at Harvard University, and Kim Dong-wook, a Yonsei University professor, said they noted a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety in laboratory mice after injecting a culture derived from mouse embryonic stem cells into their brains. Two types of nervous cells, those that produce the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, were cultured inside embryonic stem cells by the Korean scientists and inserted into mice at Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory. A total of 80 mice were used for the experiment and the cells were injected into special parts of the brain that are related to feelings of anxiety and depression ― mostly the frontal lobes, scientists said. Dr. Kim Dong-wook said that the effects were similar to those of anti-depressants. “The experiments were successful because we focused on culturing specific nerve cells. Although the experiment was on mice, I believe these results show the possibilities in using embryonic stem cells for the treatment of mental diseases,” he said. by Wohn Dong-hee


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