Richard G. Petty, MD

Neural Stem Cells

Stem cell research presents us with one of the most difficult moral and ethical dilemmas. Most of us have our opinions about the whole matter. But there is now a very real possibility that the scientific piece may be resolved in a different way altogether.

A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that in adult mammals, the regions of the brain below the ventricles – the fluid-filled spaces – of the brain, harbor neural stem cells. The evidence for their existence has been building over the last five years. But this latest report is of great interest. The scientists were able to show that a soluble carbohydrate-binding protein named galectin-1 promotes the proliferation of these neural stem cells in the adult brain. These neural stem cells are highly active in the forebrains of mice.

We have yet to discover their role in adult human brains. But it would seem a safe bet that they will if anything be more active in humans, since we are endowed with incredible neural plasticity that is way beyond anything seen in most other species. And we would therefore expect to see more potential for neurogenesis in the human brain. It is valuable to place this new finding in the context of experimental work indicating that some medicines may stimulate adult neurogenesis.

“I’ve found that the chief difficulty for most people was to realize that they had really heard new things: that is things that they had never heard before. They kept translating what they heard into their habitual language. They had ceased to hope and believe there might be anything new.”
–Peter Demianovich Ouspensky (Russian Philosopher, 1878-1947)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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