Zhang was the first to prove that transplanted embryonic-turned nerve cells can repair the neurological deficits and improve memory and learning functions
You simply can’t remember where you put your keys. It’s fine, happens to everybody and you are just getting older. Good-humoredly, you even start calling yourself “absentminded.” Then, one day, you cannot remember your boss’s last name. You start forgetting the stores you’ve been to, where you went for vacation last year, or what your favorite meal is. You forget how to use the bathroom or when to eat, and the people you care about fade in and out of your memory.
This is the progression of dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder. Currently, over 20 million people in the United States have a form of dementia, and because of our aging population, we can expect that number to double in the coming decades.
Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been searching for a solution to this growing problem, and he thinks our answer may lie in stem cells. In the past few months, Zhang and his colleagues have published several breakthrough studies connecting stem cell transplants to brain repair.
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