New neurons generated in the hippocampus of an adult mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease
Demonstration of new neurons (in green) generated in the hippocampus of an adult mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. There is significant disease-related inflammation of the cerebral tissue (in red). In the course of this experiment, a viral vector was used to target the stem cells of the adult brain and force them to become fully mature, functional new neurons. In a brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease, we see a drastic reduction in the production of new neurons, or neurogenesis; this is what researchers are attempting to stimulate here. Reduced neurogenesis appears to be a contributing factor to the memory impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The use of neural stem cells could help to slow down cerebral ageing and combat cognitive problems inherent to ageing and to neurodegenerative diseases.