Researchers come up with a new approach to treating alzheimers and dementia. By extracting exosomes, a nanoscale carrying capsule derived from fat and marrow stem cells. Exosomes, otherwise known as vesicles are present in all cellular life and are responsible for carrying biochemicals around within and between different cells.
Preliminary research was conducted at Taiwans National Health Research Institute.
Exosomes are present naturally in all bodily fluids so they have the innate ability to pass through our blood brain barrier unhindered, making them particularly suited for treating neuro-degenerative diseases in the brain. By extracting stem cell exosomes and re-injecting them in to patients scientists hope they can help treat age related memory disorders like dementia and alzheimers.
In this particular study they tested exosome therapy on mice with a damaged hippocampus – the part of the brain largely responsible for memory. What they found is that roughly one week after injecting exosomes, damaged regions of their hippocampus began to grow back synapses, which are little cellular cables that allow communication between neurons, enabling memory recall.
After a month, the number of hippocampal neurons increased by a staggering 40%. Such progress in this short amount of time is basically unheard of within contemporary treatment circles, making stem cell derived exosome therapy a serious possibility for elderly people suffering from this disorder, as well as their families.
Human trials still have to verify the treatments efficacy at a larger scale but scientists say that it could also be applied to a number of other problems including cell defection, organ damage, strokes, learning disabilities, or injured brain and spine marrow.