The use of human stem cells to understand mechanisms and develop treatments for neurological disorders
Brain disorders are among the most significant health problems of modern day with enormous medical, social and economic burdens in British Columbia, Canada and globally. There is a substantial gap between the burden of brain disorders and the resources available to treat them. Neurodevelopmental disorders are particularly devastating, placing a heavy emotional and economic burden on children and their families. A major challenge in tackling these disorders is the inability to obtain and study brain cells directly. New technologies which allow stem cells to be transformed into brain cells are starting to help overcome this hurdle.
By studying brain cells derived from human stem cells, Dr. Pouladi aims to
- understand how brain disorders develop and
- to identify new ways to treat them. A major focus of his studies are monogenic neurological disorders and in particular fragile X syndrome (FXS). FXS is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and remains without effective treatments options.
The stem cell-based discovery platform established and knowledge gained as part of Dr. Pouladi's program have the potential to advance therapeutic development for not only FXS, but also other neurodevelopmental disorders.