Stem Cells May Offer New Hope For Alzheimer’s

(Stem Cells News image)

A team of scientists has discovered what could be a novel source for researching and potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions involving the destruction of brain cells.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes converted skin cells from mice and humans into brain stem cells with the use of a protein called Sox2. Using only this protein to transform the skin cells into neuron stem cells is unusual. Normally, the conversion process is much more complex.

Neuron stem cells are cells that can be changed into the nerve cells and the cells that support them in the brain. The neuronal stem cells formed in this study are unique because they were prepared in a way the prevented them from becoming tumors, which is what often happens as stem cells differentiate, explained David Teplow, professor of neurology and director of the Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA. Teplow was not involved in the study, but is familiar with this type of research.

These immature brain stem cells then developed into different types of functional brain cells, which were eventually able to be integrated into mouse brains.

read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/alzheimers-treatment-scientists-turn-skin-cells-brain-cells/story?id=16510762#.T9GGV1Ipq0M

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