Bioneer has published an article about how stem cell-derived neurons can create ‘dementia’ in a petri dish.
Fibroblasts from patients with Alzheimer’s disease can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which are capable of differentiating into all cell types of the mammalian body.
They can be differentiated into neurons, which express phenotypic characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease in the petri dish. This allows researchers to get close to the molecular disease mechanisms, which would normally be hidden deep inside the brain.
Diseased neurons can also be used for drug discovery in order to find compounds that alleviate the impact of the disease processes.
Furthermore, molecular tools allow for potential correction of mutations that induce the disease in familial cases and points towards future cell-based therapy.