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Research Activities

General Overview
We have multiple research groups in our department.  One is the cerebrovascular disease, one is the brain tumor disease, and one is spine/functional team.  One of the main work of cerebrovascular team is the basic and clinical work for bone marrow stem cell against ischemic stroke.  Recently, this work has been selected as “Promotion of research on practical application of regenerative medicine” from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and currently recruiting patients for clinical trial (RAINBOW project, see below for further information).  Moyamoya disease is also our main experimental stream.  Nationwide survey, finding novel biomarker, brain networking, and iPS cell for further investigation of the disease are energetically on the way.  New material for endovascular treatment and social-economical aspect of endovascular treatment are also under investigation.  Brain tumor disease team are trying to find the new biomarker for glioma which can differanciate chemo- or radi- resistant tumor.  photo-/sono- therapy are considered to be one of the new treatment methods and this team is putting much of their effort to find the missing clue for clinical use.  Clinically, positron emission tomography (PET) are used to distinguish tumor necrosis and tumor regression and bio-bank are established for orphan disease, such as pediatric brain tumor.  Spinal/functional team are focused to find out the molecular mechanisms of spinal arachnoiditis and also using BMSC for regenerative medicine.  Improvement of the cognitive impairment by deep brain stimulation are also under survey.


Research on Advanced Intervention using Novel Bone marrOW stem cell (RAINBOW): Phase I, trial of autologous bone marrow stromal cell transplantation in patients with acute ischemic stroke
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, and despite intensive research, few treatment options exist. However, a recent breakthrough in cell therapy is expected to reverse the neurological sequelae of stroke. Although some pioneer studies on the use of cell therapy for treating stroke have been reported, certain problems remain unsolved. Recent studies have demonstrated that bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have therapeutic potential against stroke. We investigated the use of autologous BMSC transplantation as a next-generation cell therapy for treating stroke.
Nation-wide registry and bio-bank for Moyamoya disease
The number of clinical research papers published worldwide on moyamoya disease (MMD) has increased recently. However, the majority of the literature comprises retrospective single-center studies collecting data on small numbers of patients. Several multi-center studies are ongoing in Japan; however, the current data are insufficient for comprehensively outlining the various characteristics of MMD. To enhance our knowledge on epidemiologic, vascular, and genetic aspects of MMD, a prospective multicenter registry will be established in Japan that will help to streamline clinical research as well as improve clinical treatments and long-term outcomes. Patients with MMD or secondary moyamoya syndrome referred to the participating centers will be invited to the registry. Demographic and physiological parameters, along with neuroimaging data will be collected chronologically. Clinical events, including neurological, medical, and surgical interventions will be recorded. Whole blood samples will be collected. Extra- and intra-cranial vascular tissue, and/or cerebrospinal fluid will also be collected from patients who undergo surgical revascularization. These biospecimens will be stored at the repositories and utilized for genome-wide association studies for identifying genetic variants, as well as tissue-specific proteomic, and/or molecular analyses.  The registry will provide descriptive statistics on functional outcomes, surgical techniques used, medications, and neurological events stratified according to patients’ clinical characteristics. We expect this study to provide novel insights in the management of MMD patients and design better therapies.