Cell Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease: Is it Reversible?
Alzheimer’s Facts And Figures
According to 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) facts and figures, 5.5 million individuals in U.S. have Alzheimer’s dementia, of which around 5.3 million are age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 are under age 65. The disease is prevalent in older age, women have higher incidence of AD than men . According to a recent study on old age people one in every three die of AD or other Dementia.
There is no single test available for Alzheimer’s detection, but physicians, neurologists and geriatricians use various approaches, methods and tools for Alzheimer’s disease’s diagnosis.
Management of Alzheimer’s Disease
Although there are both pharmacological as well as non pharmacological therapies available to manage Alzheimer’s disease, but there is no medication available today to slow or stop Alzheimer’s symptoms.
The Pharmacological Approach
Pharmacological therapies mostly include Cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA (N-methyl-Daspartate) receptor blocker. Cholinesterase inhibitors according to National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence are Donepezil and Rivastigmine for mild to moderate management of Alzheimer’s disease. NMDA (N-methyl-Daspartate) receptor blocker Memantine is effective in moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.
Behavioral symptoms based management of Alzheimer’s disease is also available, which includes Antipsychotics, Anticonvulsants, Antidepressant and Anxiolytics. Vitamin E and Selegeline are also found useful for the prevention and disease modification of Alzheimer’s disease. Gingko biloba, a herbal supplement is also found useful for cognition enhancer.
Cell Therapy And Alzheimer’s Disease
The available therapies are useful for cognitive function of patients or as symptom based treatment. Adverse effects and toxicity rate can be higher in long-term use of these therapies however. Due to these effects, interest towards hormone and cell therapies has been increasing over the years.
Cell Therapy can compensate for above limitations and have potential for newly developed treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand non pharmacological methods are used to improve cognitive stimulation such as ability to perform daily activities, these includes exercise, computerized memory training, listening to favorite music to stir recall, special lighting to lessen sleep disorders. , , 
Every century is characterized by scientific achievements that become historical landmarks, and most likely our current century will be remembered for its significant discoveries relating to stem cell research, including the understanding of human physiological regeneration, the pathological processes involving stem cells, and the mechanisms that regulate their trafficking in the body. This is a huge challenge, but there is hope that new therapies will be developed that enable us to treat several so-far-incurable diseases, which will prolong life span and improve our quality of life. 
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive decline in cognition. AD mostly contributes to 60–70% of cases of dementia.
In Alzheimer’s disease, neurons involved in basic bodily functions such as speaking, walking and swallowing are damaged and in the final stages it leads to fatal consequences.
The risk factors involved in Alzheimer’s disease are older age, family history of Alzheimer and the presence of gene Apolipoprotein E . Environmental factors, lifestyle and diet have potential role in Alzheimer’s disease.
Diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, dyslipidemia, history of brain trauma, cerebrovascular disease and vasculopathies have also been found to increase Alzheimer’s disease risk .
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include depression, difficulty in remembering and apathy while later symptoms include confusion, difficult communication, disorientation, poor judgment and behavior changes, difficulty understanding visual images and spatial relationships, misplace things, lose ability to retrace steps, withdrawal from work or social activities, difficulty completing work at home or work .
Middle-stage symptoms. As the disease develops, memory problems will get worse. Those affected may find it increasingly difficult to remember names and may even struggle to recognise their family and friends.
At this stage, other symptoms may also develop, such as: increasing confusion and disorientation, obsessive, repetitive or impulsive behaviour, delusions (believing things that are untrue), problems with speech or language (aphasia), disturbed sleep, changes in mood, such as frequent mood swings, depression and feeling increasingly anxious, frustrated or agitated. 
Pathology And Cause
The pathology of the disease suggests that neuronal injury and death initiates in hippocampus region of brain and further atrophy affects entire brain.
The main cause of Alzheimer’s disease is progressive accumulation of twisted strands of the protein tau (tangles) and protein fragment beta-amyloid (plaques) in the brain neurons. Amyloid beta (Aβ), a byproduct of amyloid precursor protein is thought to be involved in neuronal development. Aβ monomers contain short regions of beta sheet at sufficiently high concentration, these sheets undergoes conformational change giving beta sheet rich tertiary structure. Aggregation of these structures forms amyloid fibrils, depositing outside neurons as senile plaques and diffuse plaques. Abnormal aggregation of tau protein, especially hyper phosphorylated tau proteins accumulates as paired helical filaments, aggregating into masses inside nerve cells to form neurofibrillary tangles.
These changes eventually lead to neuronal damage and death. Alzheimer’s disease is also linked to low levels of acetylcholine. Overstimulation of glutaminergic receptors NMDA could lead to neuronal loss and can be contributing factor to AD .
To conclude behavioral and lifestyle management, avoiding exposure to risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease can decrease Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and can improve recovery. Higher education level, Mediterranean diets are shown to decrease risk of Alzheimer’s disease development .
Use of neuroprotectives with less adverse effect for chronic use reduces symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Cell Therapy seems promising for Alzheimer’s disease treatment to slow down its progression and improve quality of life.
Further Reading – Quality Articles From Third Party Websites
-  Alz.org
-  World Health Organization
-  Journal of Menopausal Medicine
-  Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
-  NHS – National Health Service
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