Brain cell transplant stops sea lion's seizures


A 7-year-old sea lion whose seizures had grown increasingly frequent and severe has been seizure-free since October 2020, when healthy cells from pig embryos were transplanted to his hippocampus, says neuroscientist Scott Baraban, who led the experimental effort. The sea lion was stranded in 2017 and found to have brain damage likely caused by exposure to domoic acid, and the cell transplant, which had shown promise in mouse studies, will be used in other captive sea lions with domoic acid damage and might eventually be tested for treatment of some people with epilepsy.

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