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An update on stem cell therapy for neurological disorders: cell death pathways as therapeutic targets

Here, we compiled ten papers detailing recent strides in the field of stem cell therapy, which address critical issues relevant to pursuing this experimental treatment for clinical applications in brain disorders. Topics include efficacy, safety, and mechanism of action underlying cell therapy, emerging technologies and combination pharmacotherapies with cell transplantation directed at improving the functional outcomes, and evaluation of key translational components of advancing novel therapeutics to the clinic, including the need for vis-à-vis comparisons with the gold standard of treatment post-injury (i.e., physical rehabilitation). A bioethics paper is also incorporated here to further appreciate the current status of cell therapy in the community setting. The overall goal of this special volume is to provoke a meaningful assessment of the lessons we have learned in recent years and to use such knowledge to carefully translate safe and effective applications of cell therapy, and its mechanism of action for the treatment of neurological disorders.