Monday, July 23, 2012

Could Skin Cells Hold Answers to Alzheimer's?

Skin cells taken from patients with Alzheimer's disease can be reprogrammed into brain cells with the help of a particular stem cell research technique, Andrew Sproul, Ph.D., and colleagues at the New York Stem Cell Foundation reported at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Vancouver July 16. The reprogrammed cells can be used to explore the biology of Alzheimer's and for early-stage testing of potential Alzheimer's treatments, the scientists believe. One advantage of the technology, Sproul  said, is that it can generate a nearly infinite supply of brain cells.

Other Alzheimer's advances were reported recently at a National Institutes of Health-sponsored Alzheimer's summit—notably, that results from three trials of experimental Alzheimer's drugs will be announced later this year. For more information about the search for weapons to fight Alzheimer's, see Psychiatric News.

(Image: leonello calvetti/


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