- Last Updated on 29 December 2016
Stem cell therapies hold great promise for the future treatment of brain disorders such as epilepsy. However, with present technology, stem cell therapies such as stem cell transplantation (bone marrow transplantation) are used to treat only a few diseases—such as leukemia. The internet is unfortunately a source of tremendous misinformation, and frankly misleading advertisements regarding stem cell therapies for brain diseases and brain injuries. Sadly, there are countless web testimonials from parents of children who have received these therapies, and from unscrupulous practitioners who provide these therapies (almost always outside the United States). These testimonials are often misinformed, and at times, the false scientific claims are so egregious as to inspire criminal investigation.
Stem cells are cells with the potential to become many different types of body tissues, including brain cells. Though scientists have successfully coaxed stem cells to become various types of brain cells, there has been no success yet in getting these transplanted brain cells to function in a transplant recipient. In short, scientists do not yet know how to get transplanted stem cells to thrive, much less interact in a meaningful way to perform the functions we hope will someday be key to the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with epilepsy and other brain diseases. Please see our discussion of "Treatment X".
For more information, please see the following:
- An investigative report from CBS' 60 Minutes regarding unscrupulous stem cell transplant practitioner