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      The ability to generate in-vivo spinal cord motor neurons from human pluripotent stem cells would be a major milestone in motor neuron-based diseases such as ALS.

      Indeed we are still decades away from that goal. Nevertheless scientists are working hard toward that goal.

      Motor neurons are involved in governing voluntary actions and in general body movements through the participation and contribution of large neuronal circuits. Their loss results in diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SLA). At present, pluripotent stem cells represent the most promising tool for the generation of large populations of human neural stem cells.

      Various methods have been developed for motor neurons production from stem cells, both of embryonic and somatic origin, generated by means of reprogramming techniques. The protocols reported in literature generally are based on a multistep process that includes neural induction, differentiation and maturation phases.

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