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Stem cells application in Alzheimer's disease.

Stem cells application in Alzheimer's disease.

Publish date: 2014-12-01

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) causes nerve tissue atrophy that appears as degenerative changes in the brain. Brain shrinks because of uncontrolled loss of neurons, especially within the hippocampus, frontal lobe and amygdale.

Tags: Alzheimer's disease , Eva Sykova , neurodegenerative disease , regenerative medicine , stem cells , brain

There is suspicion that β- amyloid plaque is involved in pathological changes in brain. It is an unpropriate form of protein which should occur in α – structure. Beta forms causes loss of neurons which reduces the number of synaptic connections. Moreover it built up between the synaptic connections which results in a reduced amount of secreted neurotransmitters.

Those are changes that can not be reversed. The progression of the disorder leads to memory loss, loss of learning ability, difficulty with understanding, loss of sober thinking, loss of judgment ability, difficulties in communication and a significant reduction in the ability to cope with activities of daily living.

Worldwide, there can be about 30 million people that suffer from AD. Those are mainly elderly people, over 65 year of age, but not only. Of course number of incidences increases with the age. However, there are cases in which AD occurs earlier – even about 30 year of age. Those sufferers are suspected to have familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD).

Why AD is so dangerous? Because there is no cure which will be able to fight it. So far no one has investigated the drug for AD or for just stop the progression. Pharmacological treatment that is widely use is focused on just the symptomatic treatment of memory loss. There with the hope comes researchers that try to investigate new approach with stem cells use.

Professor Eva Sykova underlines that neurobiologist do not have good biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease which able early or even late diagnosis. Usually scientists are sure that patient sufferes from AD in post mortem authopsy. Therefore usually AD patients have fully developed pathology in brain when symptoms occur. Using stem cells scientists try to prevent the development of the AD.

Despite all those efforts, we can’t unfortunately protect ourselves form the development of this degenerative changes. Doctors recommend physical activity, proper diet with low cholesterol level and also mental activity – doing a crosswords, Sudoku, logic games, chess or just reading a book – all of those stimulates our brain and creates new synaptic connections, thus the lose of single connections would not be disturbing and noticeable. 

 

Hanna Banasiak

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