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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2012, Article ID 346053, 15 pages
Review Article

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Model and Treat Neurogenetic Disorders

1Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 1 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8
2Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, HSC 1R1, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1

Received 4 March 2012; Accepted 30 May 2012

Academic Editor: Cara J. Westmark

Copyright © 2012 Hansen Wang and Laurie C. Doering. 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.


Remarkable advances in cellular reprogramming have made it possible to generate pluripotent stem cells from somatic cells, such as fibroblasts obtained from human skin biopsies. As a result, human diseases can now be investigated in relevant cell populations derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of patients. The rapid growth of iPSC technology has turned these cells into multipurpose basic and clinical research tools. In this paper, we highlight the roles of iPSC technology that are helping us to understand and potentially treat neurological diseases. Recent studies using iPSCs to model various neurogenetic disorders are summarized, and we discuss the therapeutic implications of iPSCs, including drug screening and cell therapy for neurogenetic disorders. Although iPSCs have been used in animal models with promising results to treat neurogenetic disorders, there are still many issues associated with reprogramming that must be addressed before iPSC technology can be fully exploited with translation to the clinic.