Alzheimer's Disease and Stem Cells

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

The scientific process can be long and slow. In fact, the very nature of science is to be deliberate, comprehensive, and redundant as a means of objectively elevating hypotheses into facts.

You may have seen headlines this week about a potentially important discovery from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. The researcher's (Bryce Vissel and Andrea Abdipranoto) findings published in the journal Stem Cells suggest that excessive inflammation can prevent the brain from repairing itself properly. They also have hypothesized that a certain brain chemical, activin A, can suppress inflammation and allow the brain's stem cells to stimulate repair.

This is early stage research performed in mice and, as noted, the scientific process is generally long and arduous. But this is a new finding that may shed some important light on the disease process in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. I suspect we will be hearing more about this.

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