Alzheimer still remain as a serious health issue, even in the modern society.
Alzheimer’s disease result with the symptoms, mood swings, confusion, memory loss. And it is a leading cause of dementia.
Though the exact cause of AD is not completely known, the existing theories indicate two proteins as causes, called ‘tau’ and ‘amyloid beta’ to deteriorate the AD brain area. Amhyloid beta protein clumps form plaques and they prevent to send signals properly, by neurons. When tau protein is considered, according to the researchers, when tau is gnarled it becomes ‘tau tangles and it results in prevention from getting nutrition by neurons.
Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease has become difficult because of two different factors, limited understanding on AD’s etiology and AD pathology’s multifaceted nature. Pharmaceuticals that is currently available, unable to treat the disease.
However, this need unmet can be met with the technology of stem cell. It is possible as stem cells can be engineered for replacing the neuronal loss in the patients of AD. The technology has vast potential implementations that range to disease modelling from replacement therapy, though this therapy is in the stage of development, currently. Promising results, after studies and experimenting with the animal species, indicate prospective AD treatment.
Treatment with Stem Cells
Currently, no treatment is approved for Alzheimer’s disease, by stem cells. However, the results are quite positive, when the testing is done with the transplantation of the neural stem cells, to mice, which affected with the similar disease. And still study is underway to understand how it helps the brain to repair. Researchers consider pluripotent stem cells for growing the neurons, that have similar background of genes of people, who got Alzheimer disease affected, for better study and research.
Researchers are rigorously involved in the current research to study Alzheimer’s disease, using one kind of stem cell, known as induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPS). The stem cells grown in lab are made through reprogramming of skin cells or other specialized cells. The iPS cells resulted get the ability to produce all various kinds of cells, within the body. It refers to the fact that these cells do get the ability to function as a source of cells, which are difficult to obtain, otherwise, like brain’s neurons.
Successful treatment with stem cells require the cells to distribute to the area of damage, within the brain, make the valid kinds of neurons and other cells of brain correctly, network and wire new neurons into the existing networks of neurons. The research is also conducted to ensrue that the treatment is enough safe, without causing any negative effects, like cancer, other complications, etc.
Apart from the possibility of availability of the working neural stem cells and transplanting into the brain safely, it need to achieve further tasks, before ensuring therapeutic benefits, as following.
After Alzheimer’s is under control and hold, the concern of lacking the ability of the brain to integrate new neurons appropriately has to be addressed by the scientists.
Researchers and scientists work on another possible approach that the therapy of stem cell caould be used for certain kind of stem cells to deliver neurotrophins proteins, to the brain. The selection of this protein is because the production, survival and growth of neurotrophic is low, compared to the production in healthy brain.