A Novel Treatment Strategy for Neurorepair in Alzheimer's Disease
Despite previous reports that MSC can form nerve cells, our studies confirmed growing evidence that this potential is greatly limited. In addition, delivery of MSC to the brain has proven to be very inefficient with poor long-term survival of the new cells. While we work on improvements in the source or choice of stem cells, we have developed and are testing a new strategy to test the original hypothesis, that the delivery of sAPP to the brain will have neuroprotective effects. Using a virus vector-based gene therapy approach, we have demonstrated that viruses produce high amounts of sAPP both in cultured cells and when injected into the brain of test animals. We are evaluating whether this novel strategy will arrest neurodegenerative processes in animal models of AD. This approach can be applied with viruses that cause long term increases in the production of growth factors and can be combined with the use of MSC or other stem cells to protect or repair brain tissue. Our hope is that results from this alternative approach could have important implications for the development of future therapies for AD. Early results are promising, as noted.
First published on: June 10, 2008
Last modified on: April 7, 2011