Neurological disorders or injuries are those affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or peripheral nervous system (PNS). Neurodegenerative diseases primarily involve neural deterioration. Causes can include: traumatic brain, spinal cord or nerve injury, genetic disorders, congenital abnormality or disorders, infections, and lifestyle or environmental health problems (including malnutrition).
Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain or spinal cord, or in the nerves leading to or from them, can result in symptoms such as paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of consciousness.
Disorders in neurology that represent targets of cell therapy research include stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, central nervous system and spinal cord diseases — amyotropic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Diseas), multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular/muscular dystrophy).
Considering only the numbers of Americans, there is a large population of potential patients:
- Stroke: 700,000 per year
- Parkinson's: 4.5 million prevalence
- Alzheimer's: 1 million prevalence
- Epilepsy: 200,00 per year
- Traumatic brain injury: 1.4 million prevalence
- Central nervous system and spinal cord disease: 1 million prevalence
Companies with active product development for cell therapy in neurological applications include: Aastrom Bioscience Inc., Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, Aldagen, Inc., Athersys, Inc., BeFutur Biotechnologies, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc., co.don AG, ES Cell International, Geron Corporation, Innogenetics, Integra LifeSciences Inc., Living Cell Technologies Ltd., Medtronic, Neuralstem, Inc., NeuroGeneration, Inc., NeuroNova AB, Osteotech, Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc., Polyganics BV, ProNeuron Biotechnologies, Inc., ReInnervate Ltd., ReNeuron Ltd., Sernova Corp., Stem Cell Pharma Inc., StemCells Inc., Targeted Genetics Corporation, TEI Biosciences Inc., Transition Therapeutics Inc, and TriStem Corporation.
Data on cell and tissue engineering therapy markets and products under development is provided in MedMarket Diligence Report #S520, "Tissue Engineering, Cell Therapy and Transplantation: Products, Technologies & Market Opportunities, Worldwide, 2009-2018."