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Concise Review: Can Stem Cells be Used to Treat or Model Alzheimer’s Disease?†‡§ *

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of age-related dementia, affecting over 5 million people in the U.S. alone. AD patients suffer from progressive neurodegeneration that gradually impairs their memory, ability to learn, and carry out daily activities. Unfortunately, current therapies for AD are largely palliative and several promising drug candidates have failed in recent clinical trials. There is therefore an urgent need to improve our understanding of AD pathogenesis, create innovative and predictive models, and develop new and effective therapies. In this review, we will discuss the potential of stem cells to aid in these challenging endeavors. Because of the widespread nature of AD pathology, cell-replacement strategies have been viewed as an incredibly challenging and unlikely treatment approach. Yet recent work shows that transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) can improve cognition, reduce neuronal loss, and enhance synaptic plasticity in animal models of AD. Interestingly, the mechanisms that mediate these effects appear to involve neuroprotection and trophic support rather than neuronal replacement. Stem cells may also offer a powerful new approach to model and study AD. Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, for example, may help to advance our understanding of disease mechanisms. Likewise, studies of human embryonic and NSCs are helping to decipher the normal functions of AD-related genes; revealing intriguing roles in neural development. STEM CELLS 2012;30:2612–2618

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/stem.1240/full

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-01-2014