#1: The Gut/Brain Connection Being Proven
“Neuroscientists are probing the idea that intestinal microbiota might influence brain development and behavior.”
For decades we didn’t really know about our body’s system of microbes, and the idea that the good and bad bacteria in our gut could actually effect neurobiology was hardly considered - however, this is changing. It is widely known that neurological issues can impact that brain, but vice versa?
We’ve heard the stories and personally know of individuals that have treated their kids' guts in order to heal genetically linked autistic spectrum disorders. Over the next 6-7 years, the US Office of Naval Research agreed to pump around US $14.5 million into work examining the gut's role in cognitive function and stress responses.
Read more about this exciting breakthrough here
#2: Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Stop Seizures
"Our results suggest that induced pluripotent stem cell-derived GABAergic cell therapy has the promise for providing a long-lasting seizure control and relieving co-morbidities associated with epilepsy," Shetty said.
3.4 million Americans have active epilepsy. Between 20-40% continue to have seizures even after trying multiple anti-seizure drugs. Even when the drugs do work, people may develop cognitive and memory problems and depression. The relief from seizures comes at a huge cost, to individuals suffering and their families. Stem cells are probably the most advanced promising area of research available for chronic conditions and currently untreatable conditions. And now, there is work being done to see how using stem cells can help stop seizures.
Read more about this fascinating discovery here
#3: Private Cannabis Research Begins for Autistic-Spectrum Disorders
“Our goal is to change this paradigm with research-driven, scientific data, while also supporting the establishment of standardized testing and regulation to ensure that available products are indeed what they claim to be.”
UC San Diego is currently in progress on a privately funded $4.7 million study involving the controversial cannabis plant. And it’s going to make waves. The study initially covers just the cannabidiol CBD, which is widely marketed as an alternative medicine available for private purchase in legally available states both recreationally and medically. The studies being done at UCSD cover stem-cell level research into cannabis and the impact on children's brain as well as cover traditional clinical trial applications of CBD in action with children with autism. The research will help definitely answer, at clinical and at stem-cell levels, whether CBD can ease the most severe symptoms of autism, including seizures, self-injuring behavior, and crippling anxiety. CBD is only the first of all the known cannabinoids (including but not limited to THC, THCV, THCA, CBN, CBG) that will be studied. With more grant and private funding- the research will expand to prove once and for all if this ‘miracle plant’ does, in fact, treat the untreatable conditions lumped into, or previously considered, under the umbrella of Autism.
Read more about the exciting progress here
Watch this great video about stem cell research here