Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation has provided the basis for the development of potentially powerful new therapeutic cell-based strategies for a broad spectrum of clinical diseases, including stroke, psychiatric illnesses such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and cancer. Here, we discuss pertinent preclinical investigations involving NSCs, including how NSCs can ameliorate these diseases, the current barriers hindering NSC-based treatments, and future directions for NSC research. There are still many translational requirements to overcome before clinical therapeutic applications, such as establishing optimal dosing, route of delivery, and timing regimens and understanding the exact mechanism by which transplanted NSCs lead to enhanced recovery. Such critical lab-to-clinic investigations will be necessary in order to refine NSC-based therapies for debilitating human disorders.
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