Novel Brain Implant Shows Potential as Alzheimer’s Treatment

Novel Brain Implant Shows Potential as Alzheimer’s Treatment
shutterstock_144855175A research team from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden tested a new therapy for Alzheimer's disease whereby patients received an implantable therapy that encourages the growth of a specific type of nerve cell that helps prevent the degradation of neurons. Alzheimer's disease is driven by an early breakdown of cholinergic nerve cells, which is normally controlled by a particular nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a group of proteins that maintain cell function. However, when there is a decline in innate NGF levels, the cholinergic nerve cells start degrading and the patients overall condition deteriorates. The researchers introduced NGF into the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease using NGF-producing cell capsules. Through stereotactic surgery, these capsules were placed in the basal fore-brain, the main location of active cholinergic cells. These capsules are designed to release the NGF molecule for cellular uptake, preventing the degradation characteristic of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. The study titled “Changes in CSF cholinergic biomarkers in response to cell therapy with NGF in patients with Alzheimer's disease" is published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia
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