Traumatic Brain Injury New UC Davis research has shown that cells known as astrocytes, long considered mere ‘housekeeping’ cells because of their supportive roles to neurons, are actually much more sophisticated. The team is exploring the potential for using astrocytes to treat neurological disorders, beginning with stroke. By creating a highly purified population of astrocytes and proving both their therapeutic benefits and safety, the team hopes these cells could be used to restore brain function for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy to traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and even spinal cord injury.