Enriched blood cells preserve cognition in mice with features of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have successfully tested two new methods for preserving cognition in laboratory mice that exhibit features of Alzheimer's disease by using white blood cells from bone marrow and a drug for multiple sclerosis to control immune response in the brain.
Under the two approaches, immune cells from outside the brain were found to travel in greater numbers through the blood into the brain. The study showed measurable benefits in mice, an encouraging step toward further testing of these potentially powerful strategies in human trials.
Researchers point out that the brain's own immune cells are critical for its healthy function. During the progression of Alzheimer's disease, these cells are found to be defective. In this study, the researchers discovered that immune cells infiltrating the brain from the blood effectively resisted various abnormalities associated with the condition.
"These cells appear to work in the brain in several ways to counter the negative effects associated with Alzheimer's disease," said Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD, assistant professor of neurosurgery and biomedical sciences at Cedars-Sinai, and the senior author of the article published in Brain, a journal of Oxford University Press.