Scientists have just made a revolutionary breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
Instead of experimenting on mice with dicey results, this team of researchers went straight to testing human brain cells – and their studies have been proven successful.
Scientists at the Gladstones Institute in California managed to identify the gene that caused Alzheimer’s disease. Not only that, but they also managed to neutralize the gene so that it did not lead to Alzheimer’s development.
The dangerous cell in question is called the apoE4 gene. Having one copy of the gene reportedly doubles a person’s chances of developing brain damage. Having two copies increases the risk by 12-fold.
This is because the gene produces a certain kind of mutated protein that damages human brain cells. By using stem cells to correct the gene, scientists were able to halt production of the deadly protein, eliminate all signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve cell survival and function.
Now that the treatment has been proven successful in human cells, the researchers plan on applying the same treatment to human patients in the near future.
– Brain scan images from NIH, public domain, Wikimedia
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