Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Nose for Alzheimer's
04 January 2014

Nose for Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in adults. It happens when brain cells start producing damaging molecules that destroy them, and its progress is unstoppable. Researchers are testing an experimental 'personalised' treatment produced from the liquid part of a patient's own blood, known as plasma. They think this plasma, which contains lots of nutrients, could encourage brain cells to resist the damage and survive. The effects are seen in this picture, which shows untreated brain cells (top left), compared with cells dosed with plasma from young or old people and an Alzheimer’s patient (top right, bottom left and bottom right, respectively), which all increase the number of brain cells (stained green). The team have seen promising results from tests of the plasma, delivered as a nose spray, in mice with a form of Alzheimer’s and are hopeful it could become a treatment for patients one day.

Written by Kat Arney

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