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May 26

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered stem cells from teeth can be cultivated to resemble brain cells and possibly be one day used to repair neurological damage in stroke victims.

The University’s Centre for Stem Cell Research has found dental pulp stem cells can form brain-like networks and in the right conditions could be grown to resemble complex neurons.

Physiology PhD student and Commercial Development Manager with Adelaide Research and Innovation, Dr Kylie Ellis believes there is great potential for stem cells from teeth to be developed into nerve and brain cells to improve on existing drug treatments for stroke, which only offer a limited time frame for administration. ‘Dental pulp stem cell therapy may provide a treatment option months or even years after a stroke has occurred,’ said Dr Ellis.

Dr Ellis’ research creates potential for simulating other frequent brain disorders and developing new treatments and techniques for patients using their own into dental pulp stem cells.

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