December 3, 2014 – : Neuron Model


Anchor lead:  Do we finally have a laboratory model for Alzheimer’s disease that is practical? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Researchers have succeeded in developing a human model for Alzheimer’s disease by growing layers of nerve cells in a dish and having two materials that accumulate in the brains of people with disease, called amyloid and tau, also accumulate in the culture.  Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, is cautiously optimistic.

Lyketsos: For the last two decades we have cured Alzheimer’s disease in mice dozens of times.  The therapies when they have come into humans have not been effective or promising.  So colleagues have created basically a three dimensional neuronal cell model that has all the features of Alzheimer’s disease. And that’s a very cool possibility because that might be a setting where testing drugs has a better chance of bringing drugs to humans that will be effective.   :28

Lyketsos says at the very least the model should help verify or disprove the process by which Alzheimer’s is thought to develop. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.