An Argument That Brain Cell Research Offers Hope for Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

An Argument That Brain Cell Research Offers Hope for Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Document details
Category: Healthcare and Medicine Essay
Subcategory: Film and Movies
Words: 979
Pages: 6

Published: Saturday 2nd of November 2013

Brain cell research offers hope forAlzheimer'sNEW YORK, Feb 28 (Reuters Health) -- Taking cells from aregion of the brain known as the hippocampus, an internationalteam of researchers have grown functional brain cells in labcultures. The findings may have profound implications forrestoring damaged or degenerative brain cells, which occurs indiseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.The brain has recently been shown to regenerate some of its cells,but scientists were unable to identify the cells, known as stemcells, that gave rise to the new brain neurons. The technique usedin this study now gives scientists the ability to identify those stemcells in the brains of living patients, and shows that these cells canbe stimulated to turn into new neurons, principal author Dr.Steven A. Goldman told Reuters Health.In addition, it may lead to the development of drugs that wouldstimulate the formation of new brain cells in people withAlzheimer's or other diseases where brain cells degenerate, hecommented.Goldman noted that the use of drugs to stimulate proliferation ofnew brain cells will probably result in a more successful strategythan attempting to grow the cells outside the body and thenplacing them back into the brains of patients, as some scientistshave suggested.Goldman, of Cornell University Medical College in New York,and colleagues surgically extracted brain cells from thehippocampus of eight living male patients, ranging in age from 5 to63 years, while they underwent surgery for another reason. Theinvestigators isolated stem cells from the brain tissue. The stemcells were then grown in culture along with certain factors knownto control the development of neurons.The cells gave rise to functional neurons, Goldman's team reports.The adult human hippocampus contains... progenitor cells thatcan give rise to new neurons,'' the authors write in the Marchissue of Nature Medicine. They add that the isolation of thesecells may provide a... substrate for re-populating the damaged ordegenerated adult hippocampus.''In an accompanying commentary, Dr. Jack P. Antel andcolleagues of the McGill University in Montreal, Canada, say thatthe study opens up the possibility'' of transplanting lab-grownbrain cells...

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