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New York Stem Cell Foundation scientists featured for new model of Alzheimer's disease
Date:7/16/2012

NEW YORK, NY (July 16, 2012) A team of scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Laboratory led by Scott Noggle, PhD, NYSCFCharles Evans Senior Research Fellow for Alzheimer's Disease, has developed the first cell-based model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by reprogramming skin cells of Alzheimer's patients to become brain cells that are affected in Alzheimer's. This will allow researchers to work directly on living brain cells suffering from Alzheimer's, which until now had not been possible. Andrew Sproul, PhD, a postdoctoral associate in Dr. Noggle's laboratory, will present this work on Thursday, July 19 at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) held in Vancouver.

Dr. Noggle and his team reprogrammed skin cell samples taken from twelve patients diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and from healthy, genetically related individuals into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can differentiate into any cell type. The team of scientists used these iPS cells to create cholinergic basal forebrain neurons, the brain cells that are affected in Alzheimer's. These cells recapitulate the features and cellular-level functions of patients suffering from Alzheimer's, a devastating disease that affects millions of people globally but for which there is currently no effective treatment.

NYSCF has pioneered the creation of disease models based on the derivation of human cells. Four years ago, a NYSCF-funded team created a cell-based model for ALS, or motor neuron disease, the first patient-specific stem cells created for any disease. The cell-based model for Alzheimer's builds on this earlier work.

"Patient derived AD cells will prove invaluable for future research advances, as they already have with patient-derived ALS cells," said NYSCF CEO Susan Solomon. "They will be a critical tool in the drug discovery process, as potential drugs could be tested directly on these cells. Although research on animals ha
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Contact: David McKeon
dmckeon@nyscf.org
212-365-7440
New York Stem Cell Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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