Scientists are continually researching the disease and methods that will help deter or lessen the effects of the disease. They are now able to diagnose someone who may be prone to developing the disease later in life. This allows those patients to plan for and even take preventative measures that are designed to help keep the effects at bay. One treatment technique that has many scientists excited is using stem cells in regenerative medicine therapies.
There are three key ways in which stem cells can be used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. The first is to use stem cells to regenerate parts of the brain that have been affected by the disease. While this technique provides many patients with hope, there are some complications that are associated with this technique. It may be possible for doctors to use this method to regrow a portion of the brain, that newly created portion will not have the memories that the damaged portion held. The patient may have a regenerated portion of their brain and show no negative signs of the disease, but they will no longer have the memories that have been created over a lifetime.
The second approach is to use these types of cells not as a method of rebuilding the brain; rather they will be used as a way to heal the damaged area of the brain. Instead of replacing damaged neurons in the brain, these cells would be used to heal them.
The third way that stem cells can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s is to use the cells as a type of drug delivery system. Instead of administering a drug used in the treatment of the disease through and IV or pill, the cells would be used to carry the medicine directly to the damaged area of the brain. This delivery method would ensure that the drugs are delivered more effectively.
While there have been advancements in using stem cells to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, further studies and trials will help uncover additional treatments. There are a lot of undiscovered ways in which stem cells can help maintain and prevent illnesses from progressing. As these developments continue to be made we can expect to see and hear of new treatments being discovered.
The amount of knowledge that we currently have on how stem cells can aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease will continue to grow as more studies present us with the additional information we need.