Published on June 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM
Dr Coppi said: "Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disease affecting one in 6,000 births. It is currently incurable and in its most severe form children with the condition may not survive long into childhood. Children with a less severe form face the prospect of progressive muscle wasting, loss of mobility and motor function. There is an urgent need for improved treatments.
"We are excited by this potential new approach for regenerating skeletal muscle tissue, but much more research is needed. We now need to perform more in-depth studies with human AFS cells in mouse models to see if it is viable to use cells derived from the amniotic fluid to treat diseases affecting skeletal muscle tissue."
The study, published in Stem Cells, was funded by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity; Hopital Neker, Paris; and Cariparo and Citt- della Speranza in Italy.
Source: University College London