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Considering the rapid, progressive prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease; worldwide, intense research is going on, to strategically develop and formulate potential treatment alternatives for Alzheimer’s disease with the help of stem cells. The same has been endorsed by Miami University of Medicine, which attempted to conduct a study, with 30 patients of Alzheimer’s Disease; all the participants were offered stem cell treatment to test and observe their effects on a person’s cognitive functions, memory and overall brain functions.

Since the time, the disease has first been described by Dr Alois Alzheimer, classifying it as the most common form of memory loss in elderly people, with an average age over 70; the disease was quite unnoticed, maybe because people misleadingly thought it was the part of a normal ageing process. However, approximately 100 years later, after the insights into stem cells and their capacity to regenerate different cells, researchers all over the world are finding ways to cure the deadly disease with the help of stem cells.

Recent Discoveries

The recent discovery at Duke University has put light on the fact that memory is diminished due to overexpression of a specific enzyme known as Arginase. The mouse model for the disease had been created to pinpoint the exact cause of the disease. It has been observed that, in the early stage of the disease, a type of immune cells known commonly as the “Microglia” began to change, while all other components of the immune system remained more or less the same. Microglia, are the principal form of the active immune defence system of the brain and spinal cord.

Although the exact underlying mechanism is still not clear, there are increasing shreds of evidence that the excessive production of these microglia in response to the systemic pathogenic entry in the central nervous system may cause increased production of other immune cells contributing to the major neuronal loss or damage. This may possibly trigger neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Due to the progressive loss of neurons, the disease can be specifically characterized by memory loss.

The Rise of Stem Cell Therapy

In response to these findings, it has been observed that stem cells can offer the prospect of preventing the progression of many such neurodegenerative disorders by potentially differentiating into functional neurons. We can now actually isolate stem cells from our own body sources such as Bone Marrow or Adipose Tissues, which can be re-implanted back into our body with minimum manipulation. The process can be coupled with stimulation technology, which helps to stimulate your own resident stem cells for proliferation and differentiation. With the worldwide clinical trials and statistical analysis, it can be concluded that, although a lot is to be done to improve the patient’s condition, the progression of the disease and eventually further damage by the same can be completely stopped. So far, no adverse events have been reported after stem cell reimplantation.

Thus, it is true that a lot to be invented about stem cells and their underlying mechanism, as well as the standardised method of treatment, stem cell treatment, has so far proved to be a promising alternative for those, who have been frustrated by trying conventional methods without any outcome and can afford to opt for the same.