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UCF research links proteins, stem cells and potential Alzheimer's treatment

rovide optimal conditions for the brain stem cells to become neurons. Under this environment, the research team found that stem cells transplanted into the brain successfully produced neurons.

Many people believe that once scientists figure out how to create tissue from stem cells, most of the diseases that plague mankind will be eradicated almost overnight, Sugaya said. But he said his research shows that its not so simple.

Sugaya is now investigating whether a combination of phenserine and his compound (NBI-18), which increases brain stem cells by 600 percent, could become another way to treat Alzheimers. Increasing neurons may be important in improving brain function, especially in people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Sugaya tempers his enthusiasm with the caveat that more research, including clinical trials, will be needed should the next set of research benchmarks be met.

Its one thing to be able to manipulate stem cells for creating specific tissue types the brain, the eyes, the heart but every disease is different, he said. Simply producing transplantable cells isnt enough. You have to think of how the disease works and figure out ways to apply the cells. Sometimes that may mean coming up with other compounds that help deliver the therapy.


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Contact: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala
zkotala@mail.ucf.edu
407-823-6120
University of Central Florida
6-Aug-2007


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