Sharma HS, Chopp M, Chen L, Sarnowska A, Xue M, Ao Q, Siniscalco D, Chen L, Hawamdeh Z, and Huang H. The 2021 yearbook of neurorestoratology. J Neurorestoratology 2022; 10(3).
Journal of Neurorestoratology
Breakthroughs with rapid changes are the themes of the development in Neurorestoratology this year. Given the very difficult circumstances of the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, most of the colleagues in Neurorestoratology have conducted meaningful research and obtained encouraging results, as described in the 2020 Yearbook of Neurorestoratology. Neurorestorative progress during 2021 depicts recent findings on the pathogenesis of neurological diseases, neurorestorative mechanisms and clinical therapeutic achievements. The pathogenesis and risk factors of Alzheimer's disease were parts of the most prominent hot research topics. Yet, it remains controversial whether β-amyloid accumulation and tau protein deposition are the results of, or the reasons for the neurodegenerative processes. Neurogenesis is an important neurorestorative mechanism, however, it is questionable whether neural stem cells are present in the adult humans brain. Thus, neurogenesis may not derive from endogenous neural stem cells in the adult humans. Neurorestorative treatments were important areas of the 2021 research efforts and these therapies are improving the quality of life in patients with neurological diseases. There was major exploration of cell-based therapies for neurological disease and injury. However, unfortunately several multi-center, double-blind or observing-blind, placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials of mesenchymal stromal cells or products of mesenchymal stem cells failed to show positive results in ischemic stroke when employed in the sub-acute or recovery phases as there were no appreciable differences in the quality of life as compared with controls. Excitingly, increased numbers of clinical investigations of brain–computer interface (BCI) were reported that showed benefits for patients with neurological deficits. In pharmaceutical neurorestorative therapies, Aducanumab (Aduhelm) and Sodium Oligomannate are approved respectively by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to treat patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Although, the decisions to approve these drugs are highly contentious in the medical and scientific community because of the contradictory findings or other problems associated with the drug usage. We believe that repeating low-level evidence studies that showed negative results or scanty evidences in randomized control trials is of little significance. However, we strongly recommend conducting multi-center, double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials for promising innovative therapeutic methods to facilitate their possible clinical translation.