Chapter 15

Stem Cell Therapy in Alzheimer’s Disease Models: Neurogenesis Versus Trophic Support

Jürgen Götz and Sven Büttner

Abstract

With an ageing population, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents a serious social and economic threat to most societies. While AD’s key histopathological features, the amyloid- plaques and the tau tangles, have been described more than a century and the first disease-causing mutations in familial cases of AD already two decades ago, there is still no cure for this debilitating disease. Current treatment is limited to various acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibitors and the NMDA receptor antagonist, memantine, yet neither of these strategies halts the degenerative process that characterizes AD [1]. More recently, strategies have been developed that target both amyloid- and tau, but none of these has reached the patient [1]. Here we review what we have learned from animal models about the pathogenesis of AD and treatment options. We further review current attempts to use stem cells to restore the function of degenerating neurons or to replace them.

Total Pages: 220-226 (7)

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