Neural stem cells (NSCs) are a population of adult cells with self-renewal and differentiation capacities. A major focus for NSC researchers is investigating the use of NSCs to combat age-related neurological disorders. Studies have shown that cell death associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons disease may be ameliorated by promoting the proliferation and differentiation of endogenous NSCs. As for other stem cell types, the addition of small molecules, available from Tocris, to culture media can enhance NSC proliferation or induce differentiation. For example, the compound SB 203580 selectively inhibits p38 MAPK activity and stimulates neural stem cell proliferation. In addition, 1-Oleoyl lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) sodium salt, an agonist of LPA receptors, inhibits human embryonic stem cell-derived NSC differentiation. The use of small molecules can also enhance stem cell differentiation into cells of neuronal and glial lineages. For example, mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into cells of the neural lineage and express increased levels of the neuronal markers beta-III Tubulin and Enolase-2 when treated with the synthetic compound, C18H17N3O3.