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Human Stem Cells Restore Memory in Animals with Alzheimer's Disease
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 11:32 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: - For the first time, human stem cells have been shown to have a significant effect on restoring memory in animals suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers from UC Irvine and StemCells Inc. injected human stem cells in the brains of mice who were exhibiting a considerable degree of neural pathology and then waited a month. They also created two different models, those bred to model the effects of Alzheimer's and those bred to model the loss of neurons. The researchers then reinvestigated the memory capabilities of these mice, comparing their performances to their previous levels, and those of a control group. 


Specifically, the mice were tested on a battery of behavioral tasks followed by histological and biochemical analysis.


What they found was nothing short of remarkable. The animals that received stem cells performed as well as mice without any previous neural pathology. By applying this particular strategy, they had statistically increased memory in their two animal models.


The researchers speculate that the stem cells went to work by alleviating the detrimental effects of protein build-up in the brain, particularly beta-amyloid plaques (what's often considered to be the most proximate cause of Alzheimer's) and neurofibrillary tangles.


The next step is to translate their work to a human therapy. Specifically, they're hoping to evaluate human stem cells to determine if they'll work in the same way they do in animal models.


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