The promise of stem cells in the therapy of Alzheimer's disease

Chunmei Yue, Naihe Jing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Alzheimer's disease (AD), a common neurodegenerative disorder associated with gradually to dramatic neuronal death, synaptic loss and dementia, is considered to be one of the most obscure and intractable brain disorders in medicine. Currently, there is no therapy clinically available to induce marked symptomatic relief in AD patients. In recent years, the proof-of-concept studies using stem cell-based approaches in transgenic AD animal models provide new hope to develop stem cell-based therapies for the effective treatment of AD. The degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) and the resultant cholinergic abnormalities in the brain contribute substantially to the cognitive decline of AD patients. The approches using stem cell-derived BFCNs as donor cells need to be developed, and to provide proof of principle that this subtype-specific neurons can induce functional recovery of AD animal models. With the continuous scientific advances in both academic and industrial fields, the potentials of stem cells in cellular neuroprotection and cell replacement in vivo have been elucidated, and stem cell-based therapy for repairing degenerative brains of AD is promising.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalTranslational Neurodegeneration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Stem cell-based therapy

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