Neural Stem Cells as Future Therapy for Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Implications for Alzheimer’s

Neural Stem Cells as Future Therapy for Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Implications for Alzheimer’s
A study published in Stem Cell Reports, entitled "Neural Stem Cells Rescue Cognitive and Motor Dysfunction in a Transgenic Model of Dementia with Lewy Bodies through a BDNF-Dependent Mechanism," reports that neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation into mice suffering from dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) significantly improved motor and cognitive impairment functions. Dementia with Lewy bodies is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder closely linked with Parkinson's disease. In the U.S., DLB affects an average of 1.3 million individuals and is ranked the second-most common age-related dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. While signs and symptoms of DLB could vary between individuals, common features include hallucinations, sleep/behavioral problems, changes in cognition, and motor characteristics of Parkinson's disease like stiffness of movements, low speech volume, postural instability, and difficulty in swallowing. Although the causes of DLB are not entirely understood, it has been suggested that a combination of genetic and environmental factors incite development of abnormal levels of aggregated proteins named Lewy bodies throughout the brain. The latter results in impairment of function and communication within the neuronal network, ultimately leading to cell death. There is no cure for DLB, but a number of treatments based on pharmaceuticals may ease the motor and emotive/cognitive symptoms. Examples include drug combinations used to treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases
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