Recent advances in stem cell therapies to address neuroinflammation, stem cell survival, and the need for rehabilitative therapies to treat traumatic brain injuries

George R. Bjorklund, Trent R. Anderson, Sarah E. Stabenfeldt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a significant health problem both in the United States and worldwide with over 27 million cases being reported globally every year. TBIs can vary significantly from a mild TBI with short-term symptoms to a moderate or severe TBI that can result in long-term or life-long detrimental effects. In the case of a moderate to severe TBI, the primary injury causes immediate damage to structural tissue and cellular components. This may be followed by secondary injuries that can be the cause of chronic and debilitating neurodegenerative effects. At present, there are no standard treatments that effectively target the primary or secondary TBI injuries themselves. Current treatment strategies often focus on addressing post-injury symptoms, including the trauma itself as well as the development of cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric impairment. Additional therapies such as pharmacological, stem cell, and rehabilitative have in some cases shown little to no improvement on their own, but when applied in combination have given encouraging results. In this review, we will abridge and discuss some of the most recent research advances in stem cell therapies, advanced engineered biomaterials used to support stem transplantation, and the role of rehabilitative therapies in TBI treatment. These research examples are intended to form a multi-tiered perspective for stem-cell therapies used to treat TBIs; stem cells and stem cell products to mitigate neuroinflammation and provide neuroprotective effects, biomaterials to support the survival, migration, and integration of transplanted stem cells, and finally rehabilitative therapies to support stem cell integration and compensatory and restorative plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1978
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2 2021

Keywords

  • Biomaterials
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stem cell
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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