Irish scientist behind Alzheimer's cell hope
Published 20/02/2012 | 00:00
An Irish scientist has developed a new way to grow human brain cells in a laboratory that could help in the development of a treatment for Alzheimer's.
Cork-born Dr Rick Livesey, who led the research by scientists at the Gurdon Institute at University of Cambridge in the UK, said the new technique could prove a valuable tool for scientists trying to unravel the complexity of Alzheimer's.
There are currently more than 44,000 people in Ireland with dementia, according to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.
Up to now scientists have used stem cells obtained from embryos for such research.
However, the scientists at the institute have reprogrammed adult human skin cells to develop into stem cells which are then used to grow the nerve cells found in the brain.