Scientists Have Crossed Their First Hurdle in the Race to Revert Memory Loss in Alzheimer’s Patients!
The utterance of the word “Alzheimer’s” sends chills down the spine of people who have seen its victims. The target organ being brain, the patient is deprived of his/her memory. In the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, only memory retrieval is lost, but not the memories. This happens when the brain cells (basal forebrain cholinergic neurons) responsible for recollecting memory, which are very less in number, are killed.
A recent research conducted at the Northwestern University in Chicago, headed by Dr Jack Kessler has revealed promising results in the direction of finding a cure to this dreadful disease. In this study, stem cells taken from the skin were programmed to become basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and transplanted into the hippocampus (major component of the brain) of mice. It was observed that these neurons functioned just like the original ones.
This scientific breakthrough not only makes it easier to produce the above mentioned vulnerable neurons in bulk from stem cells and prevent them from dying, but can also enable the researchers to transplant them into Alzheimer’s patients in the near future. Moreover, making these cells could also lead the researchers to test new drugs on them and see which one suits the best in keeping them alive.