Adult Stem Cells Might Help Some Patients with Alzheimer Disease, Reports Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Tucson, Arizona, UNITED STATES

TUCSON, Ariz., March 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Promising results in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases suggest that a patient’s own stem cells, derived from his fat tissue or bone marrow, might be helpful in Alzheimer disease. Kansas radiologist Kipp van Camp, D.O., and colleagues, present the results of  a small patient-funded study in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

Four patients with neurologist-diagnosed Alzheimer disease and mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment were treated with intravenous infusions of light-activated stem cells collected from their own adipose tissue and bone marrow. Their status was evaluated with cognitive testing, levels of beta amyloid and total tau protein in cerebrospinal fluid, and resting and post-stress SPECT scans of the brain.

The SPECT (single-photon emission computerized tomography) scan measures uptake of a radioactive tracer, which reflects blood flow and metabolic activity in various regions of the brain.

One patient did not complete the protocol. One patient, who was more impaired to begin with, showed some deterioration during the study. Two showed improvement in cognitive function, reduction in biochemical markers in cerebrospinal fluid, and improved brain function as indicated by the SPECT scan. These two patients also showed functional improvement (ability to tie shoes, pay attention during an entire football game, and navigate while shopping without getting lost).

Authors hypothesize that stem cells may reduce inflammation and activate cells that have a repair role and reduce beta amyloid deposits. Animal models suggest several mechanisms through which stem cells could affect the progress of the disease. Further research is indicated.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.


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