Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. And it’s the only one in the top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. That’s according to a report released today by the Alzheimer’s Association.
But now, researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine have made a discovery that may offer hope in the future. It addresses the most familiar symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease — memory loss.
In this month’s installment of Scientific Chicago, Jay Shefsky talks with scientists who have found a way to create replacements for brain cells that die in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
For the first time, scientists have successfully transformed embryonic stem cells into the specific type of neuron which is responsible for memory formation and retrieval.
These neurons die in the early stages of Alzheimer’s — and these “homemade” neurons will now be studied for possible transplant into Alzheimer’s patients.
Researcher Christopher Bissonnette describes the process in the photo gallery and captions below.
For the complete report on 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, click here.