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Stanford University Researchers Helping Cure Alzheimer’s

Recently, Stanford University researchers were able to coax brain cells that were involved with a vision to regrow and make connections functionally. This changed the stance that brain cells once damaged could never be restored. The experiment was conducted on mice with visual impairment but does get hope to illnesses like glaucoma, Alzheimer’s and injuries on the spinal cord.

Animals such as chickens, fish and frogs have the ability to regrow brain cells and with research, it may be possible to do this in mammals. The scientists say that the study confirms and shows this, however, less than 5 percent of the damaged cells grew back it was still enough to make an impact on the mice’s vision. The brain is able to copy very well and is believed that even if all the neurons are not regenerated it is still able to make a significant impact on the recovery.


Studies previously have shown that axons, that conduct signals via arms to neurons, could regrow this way, but the Stanford will be the first to show the extent of the growth and the visual restoration. The growth and restoration of the axon can easily remember its own developmental history and necessarily find its way home.

A Two -Pronged Approach

The team discovered a two-pronged approach to this regeneration. The cells in a mammal central nervous system do reach maturity and usually switches of the growth. The use of genetic manipulation to turn the switch on helps stimulate the growth and then exercise the damaged eye by putting it work and showing the mouse stripes that are high contrast and moving. After combining the electrical activity with molecular chicanery, the neurons grow 500 times faster and longer than they would have ordinarily.

The combination of the visual and the growth activation is what actually stimulates the brain cells to grow. The revival of the communication between the brain and the eye in development could be done using appropriate growth factors and activity pattern. The recovery of anything through medicine done is done with a combination of elements and not as one simple process.

The mice’s cell growth was targeted with gene therapy by the researchers in the form of a virus. In the future this form of therapy may be done in a similar way through pills do get the same outcome. The approaches are not ready for human trails but adding retinal cells would have to generate sustainability further than the mouse. The optic nerve of a human has to work on the scale of centimeters and no millimeters.

Although there have been many years of research done on this with different and similar outcomes, this research was able to quantify the regeneration amount requires and track the specific targets throughout the process which has never been done before. The development of tools ahead of its time assists all researcher in the outcomes that want for their research

Research on this type of treatment will need to be extensive as they consequences of the treatment are not known and what the patient may lose in the process of the treatment needs to investigate in depth. The hope this is will be usable in a few years may assist with patients who has glaucoma in that neural activity may be enhanced. If cells can be coaxed to self-repair, then the restoration of damaged cells in spinal cords, Alzheimer’s and autism would be exciting to people.