By Ammara Virk
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that includes impairment of memory and brain function. It is most commonly associated with the onset of old age. However, several factors can speed up the onset of Alzheimer’s, such as stress or diet.
However, at the University of Michigan, researchers have begun to inject fetal stem cells into the brain of mice with Alzheimer’s and found that these mice, when evaluated with behavioral and memory tests, “looked the same as mice without Alzheimer’s disease.” These mice were injected with stem cells in the hippocampal area, which is responsible for learning and memory processes. Furthermore, note that these stem cells were injected in mice that had the gene of Alzheimer’s, but did not yet display symptoms.
This research can have important implications for questions such as whether or not it is a good idea to find out that you have the gene for a potentially (as of yet) untreatable disease. While this issue used to be controversial in the past, should the research prove successful, such controversy will be mostly deleted. This research will allow early preventative action, and has good potential, especially since “stem cells could be the next big frontier to medicine.”
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