Skin Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Skin Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Cultured skin cells (green) from a healthy person (top) and a person with Alzheimer’s disease (bottom).

A novel test that detects enzymes that are dysfunctional in patients with Alzheimer’s disease–and that are found both in the brain and in skin cells–is about to undergo large clinical trials. Researchers at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI), in Morgantown, WV, who developed the diagnostic have also garnered approval from the Food and Drug Administration to test in humans an experimental drug that activates the enzymes–a mechanism that represents a new therapeutic approach to Alzheimer’s.
 

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Transplanted Stem Cells Undo Birth Defects

Transplanted Stem Cells Undo Birth Defects 

 Neural stem cells, tagged green with a fluorescent dye, have been transplanted among the brain cells (red) of a mouse born with brain damage after its mother was given heroin during pregnancy.

By injecting stem cells directly into the brain, scientists have successfully reversed neural birth defects in mice whose mothers were given heroin during pregnancy. Even though most of the transplanted cells did not survive, they induced the brain’s own cells to carry out extensive repairs.

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