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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 350131, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/350131
Review Article

Modeling Neurological Disorders by Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Embryo Technology and Stem Cell Research Center, School of Biotechnology, Suranaree University of Technology, 111 University Avenue, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Received 11 July 2011; Accepted 6 October 2011

Academic Editor: Ken-ichi Isobe

Copyright © 2011 Tanut Kunkanjanawan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Studies of human brain development are critical as research on neurological disorders have been progressively advanced. However, understanding the process of neurogenesis through analysis of the early embryo is complicated and limited by a number of factors, including the complexity of the embryos, availability, and ethical constrains. The emerging of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has shed light of a new approach to study both early development and disease pathology. The cells behave as precursors of all embryonic lineages; thus, they allow tracing the history from the root to individual branches of the cell lineage tree. Systems for neural differentiation of hESCs and iPSCs have provided an experimental model that can be used to augment in vitro studies of in vivo brain development. Interestingly, iPSCs derived from patients, containing donor genetic background, have offered a breakthrough approach to study human genetics of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper summarizes the recent reports of the development of iPSCs from patients who suffer from neurological diseases and evaluates the feasibility of iPSCs as a disease model. The benefits and obstacles of iPSC technology are highlighted in order to raising the cautions of misinterpretation prior to further clinical translations.