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The Neurofix

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The Neurofix


5 min read
5 take-aways
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What's inside?

Stem cell therapy appears to be the fountain of youth, able to restore aging brains to their former glory.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Scientific
  • Inspiring


From age 20, human brains begin slowly shrinking, eventually leading to loss of cognitive and physical function in old age. Neural stem cell technology could heal and reverse the damage, returning quality of life to a vast, aging population. In her bittersweet essay, science writer Linda Marsa explains just how close neural stem cell research is to reversing many of the diseases of old age. Marsa explains how scientists have overcome ethical issues and immune system rejection, and cites successful studies to show the promise this research holds. getAbstract recommends her observations to anyone looking for some good news about the future of aging.


In the 1990s, the body’s propensity to reject foreign cells – similar to the body’s rejection of donor organs, which requires recipients to take immunosuppressive medication – hampered stem cell research. In the United States, the ethical issue of using discarded embryos to source stem cells put a near halt on government funding for research. In 2006, Japanese scientists developed a technique to make adult cells behave like embryonic stem cells. This shift overcame previous ethical issues, but the immune system could still reject these cells. Then, scientists shifted their focus...

About the Author

Linda Marsa is a contributing editor for Discover magazine. She wrote Fevered: Why a Hotter Planet Will Hurt Our Health.

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