Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Other Neuroscience and Neurobiology

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Alzheimer's disease has become one of the most significant, life-limiting illnesses of our time as a result of the rapid increase in the average life expectancy. To successfully develop a cure for this yet incurable disease, one must understand the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. As found in recent research studies, a brain that is diagnosed with Alzheimer's is characterized by the presence of extracellular amyloid plaques composed of the amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles composed of the microtubule-associated protein: tau. In this literature review, several stem cell therapies are being reviewed as a potential cure for Alzheimer’s disease based on recent studies. Both iPSCs (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great potential, with the latter having progressed to human clinical trials. However, due to discrepancies in translation from animal to human studies, stem cell therapy remains under development. Ethically, the project raises serious questions about the morality of genetic engineering which limits the usage of stem cells in curing not only Alzheimer’s disease but many other neurodegenerative diseases.