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Positive results for Alzheimer's therapy study in Sweden
Last Updated: 2015-02-14 07:36 | Xinhua
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Swedish researchers said on Friday a new Alzheimer's therapy in which patients receive an implant that stimulates the growth of a certain type of nerve cell has shown positive results.

The results, published in the journal Alzheimer's and Dementia, suggest that the introduction of a nerve growth factor (NGF) can prevent neuronal degradation in Alzheimer's patients.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease suffer a selective and early breakdown of so-called cholinergic nerve cells, which require a specific nerve growth factor - essentially a group of proteins necessary for cell growth and survival - to function. As nerve growth factor levels decline, the cholinergic nerve cells begin to degrade and the patient's condition slowly deteriorates.

In an attempt to curb the breakdown of cholinergic nerve cells, researchers at the Karolinska Institute's Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre, Karolinska University Hospital's neurosurgery clinic, and Danish biotech company NsGene introduced NGF directly into the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

"The results are promising, but must be treated with circumspection as only a few patients participated in the study," principal investigator, professor Maria Eriksdotter said in a statement, adding, "Our findings will have to be substantiated in a larger controlled study using more patients."

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