Today is World Alzheimer’s day, on which Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) encourages everyone to talk about dementia, and end the stigma that still surrounds this challenging disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known form of dementia (a collective name for progressive brain syndromes affecting memory, thinking, behaviour and emotions), and is the underlying cause of 70% of dementia cases. Around 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia; this number is increasing all the time and has, and will continue to have, a huge social and economic impact. It is a chronic neurodegenerative disease, which becomes progressively more severe and is distressing (physically and mentally) for both the patients and their families.
There are currently no cures for Alzheimer’s. It affects nerve cells in many parts of the brain with each individual case being unique. The human brain is a hugely complex organ, in addition to its intricate structure and function it is separated from the rest of the body by the blood brain barrier (BBB), which restricts access of molecules into the brain, including most drugs.
Although there have been some attempts made at stem cell therapy, this therapeutic approach in the brain is highly problematic as we do not understand the underlying causes of the Alzheimer’s. It is a heterogeneous disease, which is unique to individuals. Additionally the neural structures and their differentiation and re-innervation are extremely complex.
At RESTORE, we want to regenerate health through advanced therapies, including in exceptionally challenging cases such as Alzheimer’s. To be able to treat a disease, you must first understand its causes. By using advanced preclinical models we may be able to accurately mimic the disease situation in humans. Such models can allow for the better understanding of how conventional drugs act, but in the future may pave the way for a deeper understanding of the brain, and therefore the potential to apply Advanced Therapies to this currently incurable chronic disease.