Alzheimer's vs. Stem Cells
Stem Cells may treat Alzheimer's Disease!
Over the past couple of years, many hospitals have been conducting a study on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) to see if there are any more possible ways to treat this horrible disease. Alzheimer's is a form of Dementia, which is a loss of brain function that occurs in certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior of the individual. It is a progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain. Recent studies are showing that stem cells could possibly slow down the progression of symptoms. Many hospitals, such as RWJ in New Brunswick, NJ, are looking for participants who are in the early stages of the disease who would like to try stem cell therapy.
How would this work?
Stem cells are a type of cell that could become any type of cell in the body. There are 3 different type of stem cells, Adult, Embryonic, and Induced Pluripotent stem cells. Adult stem cells can only become the type of cell it is located in, for example, bone stem cells can become bone tissue. Embryonic (the type used in the AD research) stem cells are pluripotent, so they can become any type of cell in the body. Induced Pluripotent is a created by scientist. They are regular cells changed by scientists to act like a stem cell. "So how is this going to help?", you might ask. Since the embryonic stem cells can become any type of cell in the body, we believe we can replace the deteriorating cells in the brain with new stem cells. Of course, this is not a cure, but it will significantly slow down the progression of the disease and could possibly increase the life-span, and generally improve the quality of life of those with Alzheimer's and their caregivers!
Help is Available!
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, you are not alone. Many people have begun treatment, and it is never to late to try. Use the information below to see what you can do to help.