Special Episode: Advances in iPS Cell Technology - New Hope for ALS and Spinal Cord Injury

15 years have passed since the discovery of iPS cells - versatile cells that can turn into any type of cell. Professor Hideyuki OKANO of Keio University was one of the first to use iPS cell technology. He has been investigating on recovering motor functions of spinal cord injury patients by transplanting precursor cells of neurons created by iPS cell technology. Professor OKANO is also working to tackle ALS, a disease with no known cure that causes muscles to get weaker over time. Using iPS cells from ALS patients, he reproduced diseased neurons and tested various drugs on them to verify the effectivity. Clinical trials have confirmed that a newly discovered drug delayed the progression of ALS by 7 months. How close are we to curing ALS and spinal cord injury using iPS cell technology? This episode takes a close look at Professor OKANO's groundbreaking research.

iPS cells
Axonal degeneration of ALS patient
Neural stem cells created from iPS cells
Neural stem cells for transplanting into injured spinal cord