Stem Cells and the Future of Alzheimer's Disease

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According to the National Institute of Aging, "Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks." al1.jpg I have had first-hand experience with this disease, as my grandfather suffered from it (most likely due to his career in the National Football League in the 1950s, when the helmets were little more than leather hats).

In the section on stem cells in Chapter 3, it is mentioned that stem cell research has the potential to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's. Recent research supports this claim.
Through stem cell research, a study has replicated Alzheimer's disease neurons, which has never been done before.

While this is only a first step, it is a huge step. Already, they have found that "one of the early changes in Alzheimer's neurons thought to be an initiating event in the course of the disease turns out not to be that significant" (Fox). Further research will provide further results.

The ability to replicate functional neurons will allow researchers to study the causes and onset of Alzheimer's disease. They then can use this information to develop and test drugs and other treatments. The study of the replicated neurons will also most likely speed the entire process of finding a possible effective treatment. As this study shows, stem cell research can be beneficial in the treatment of diseases like Alzheimer's.

Links

Researchers replicate Alzheimer's disease neurons with stem cells

Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet

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I found it rather interesting how they were talking about the fact that Alzheimer's was not something that merely happened with age, although there is a correlation with it. The body really can last much longer. The human body is capable of living decades longer than the average life-span. So in other words, something should be able to be accomplished in order to fix such horrible events like with the Alzheimer's disease. But like with your grandfather (for which I am incredibly sorry) things such as concussions from head injury should be avoided at all costs at any stage of life.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah published on February 5, 2012 9:57 PM.

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