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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 656531, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/656531
Review Article

Biomedical and Clinical Promises of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Neurological Disorders

1Faculty of Health Sciences, Srinakharinwirot University, Ongkharak, Nakhon Nayok 26120, Thailand
2School of Biotechnology, Institute of Agricultural Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand

Received 13 July 2013; Accepted 13 August 2013

Academic Editor: Ken-ichi Isobe

Copyright © 2013 Nopporn Jongkamonwiwat and Parinya Noisa. 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

Neurological disorders are characterized by the chronic and progressive loss of neuronal structures and functions. There is a variability of the onsets and causes of clinical manifestations. Cell therapy has brought a new concept to overcome brain diseases, but the advancement of this therapy is limited by the demands of specialized neurons. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have been promised as a renewable resource for generating human neurons for both laboratory and clinical purposes. By the modulations of appropriate signalling pathways, desired neuron subtypes can be obtained, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide genetically matched neurons for treating patients. These hPSC-derived neurons can also be used for disease modeling and drug screening. Since the most urgent problem today in transplantation is the lack of suitable donor organs and tissues, the derivation of neural progenitor cells from hPSCs has opened a new avenue for regenerative medicine. In this review, we summarize the recent reports that show how to generate neural derivatives from hPSCs, and discuss the current evidence of using these cells in animal studies. We also highlight the possibilities and concerns of translating these hPSC-derived neurons for biomedical and clinical uses in order to fight against neurological disorders.