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Cell Transplantation for Neurological Disorders

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    Cell Transplantation for Neurological Disorders. Edited bythomas b freeman and hakan widner. (Pp 350, US$125). Published by Humana Press, New Jersey. ISBN 0-896-03449-6.

    This book deals, in general, with issues pertinent to the clinical application of cell transplantation approaches, and has been written by many eminent members of both the American and European transplant communities, the editors also being well respected figures in this field. It covers neuronal cell transplantation therapies in its many forms, and although almost half relates to primary human foetal tissue transplants in Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, this does in fact reflect the balance of effort over the past decade and a half. Of particular value are the summaries of data emerging from ongoing clinical trials of transplantation in both conditions, as much of this data are to be found in the literature in a rather piecemeal fashion. Prospects for transplantation in other neurological conditions are also discussed, in particular multiple sclerosis and stroke. Alternative donor tissue to human foetal cells is discussed largely with reference to the use of xenogeneic cells, both transplanted directly and also transplanted in their encapsulated form after genetic modification, the latter having already being piloted clinically, particularly for use in chronic pain syndromes. The potential of using cell lines is mentioned in passing, but stem cell therapies (namely neuronal and embryonic stem cells) are not explicitly discussed, which is perhaps something of a hole given the likely reliance of transplantation therapy long term on the development of alternative sources of donor tissue. The book ends with a single chapter on the ethics of using human foetal tissue. This has been written very much from an American perspective and as this is such a central issue for much of the ongoing work, a more balanced account would have been useful. However, that having been said, this is a clear and readable account. It is suitable as an introduction to various aspects of neural cell therapies, and is an essential handbook for anyone working in the field.

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