Stem cell therapy has come a long way since the 1950’s when it was used to treat patients with cancers in the bone marrow or blood (Antonic et al., 2013). Research is now being done on how it can effectively be used to treat a wider array of disease and disorders.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or more commonly known as ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is characterized by the death of motor neuron cells in the cerebral cortex, brain stem and spinal cord and is accompanied by loss of muscle control, which eventually leads to complete paralysis (Suzuki and Svendsen, 2008). This paralysis causes death due to respiratory failure within 3-5 years after diagnosis. There is no specific diagnostic test to clinically diagnose ALS, but 95% of the time the diagnosis is correct (Martinez et al., 2012).
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major health concern because it is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. It is defined by morphological and physiological changes caused by damage to the brain tissues and structures caused by car accidents, falls, blunt traumas to the head by a moving or stationary object. Although, the survival rate has increased, the majority of patients with TBI suffer from varying disabilities and a decreased standard of living due to motor dysfunction, communication problems, and psychological and social cognitive defects (Wang et al., 2013).
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) area life altering and devastating diagnosis due to the degenerative nature of the injury. It is a result of axonal damage and neural loss, that cause severe function deficits. SCI is associated with partial or complete and temporary or permanent loss of autonomic sensory and motor function (Kang et al., 2012).