Innovative new stem cell research into Alzheimer's to commence

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

The University of Bristol has received funding to commence an innovative new study that will use groundbreaking stem cell technology to reveal new insight into Alzheimer's disease.

A grant of 164,000 pounds has been awarded by the charity organisation Brace to conduct the study, which will use stem cell advances to convert skin biopsy samples into nerve cells, similar to those found in a part of the brain known as the nucleus basalis.

These cells will be taken from Alzheimer's patients and compared to control samples in order to find out how they differ, allowing researchers to see what factors can affect the development of the disease.

It is thought that these methods can provide a much more accurate modelling of Alzheimer's on a cellular level than was previously possible, thus revealing vital insights into how the condition functions.

Dr Maeve Caldwell, senior research fellow for the university's school of clinical sciences, said the study "should enable us ... to test a range of hypotheses concerning the earliest abnormalities in Alzheimer's, the environmental influences on their development, and the extent to which they can be prevented or reversed".

This comes after University of Bristol spin-out company Azellon Cell Therapeutics received funding to trial a new stem cell bandage earlier this month.

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