Researchers Find Young Spinal Fluid May Be Key in Battling Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers Find Young Spinal Fluid May Be Key in Battling Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease Solved? Promising Link Found

( – Researchers make new medical discoveries every day, so the government and corporations earmark millions of dollars for research each year. Now, researchers at Stanford University may have found a breakthrough toward a treatment for Alzheimer’s. A recent study in mice might open the doors to discoveries in humans regarding this tragic affliction.

This month, a Stanford University research team experimented on mice by withdrawing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the younger rodents and infusing it into their older counterparts. According to a published report in Nature, the CSF infusion helped reverse memory loss. The older mice would perform better at mental tasks following the injection.

According to neuroscientist Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray, the team wondered if the CSF significantly influenced the elderly rodents’ memory decline prior to launching their study. They struggled with how to extract the fluid because mice are so small. However, Tal Iram, a research fellow in the laboratory, the team overcame the challenge.

The researchers eventually isolated a potential growth factor in the CSF called FGF17. This naturally occurring substance declines as people (and mice) age. However, scientists speculate that future research on this growth factor could lead to the mass-production of a helpful drug for Alzheimer’s patients.

The successful result in restoring memory capacity for mice might potentially open up the door for similar trials in humans. Still, we are likely years away from seeing human trials, and more testing needs to occur, according to scientists who read about the study, like Janine Kwapis of Penn State and Gabriela Popescu of the University of Buffalo. Both researchers spoke with TheScientist about the potential and drawbacks of the study but stressed additional research would be required.

What do you think about this potential breakthrough?

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