From the May 2011 Issue of Stem Cells
Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson
Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's disease (AD), may be among the most costly diseases for society in Europe and the United States, and with the continual increase in the aged population promises only to get worse, with 1 in 85 persons worldwide of all ages predicted to suffer by the year 2050 (Brookmeyer et al). Therefore, treatment for this type of disease, in particular cell replacement therapy, is highly sought after. A constant feature of AD is the loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) and is associated with problems in spatial learning and memory, and therefore a source of these cells for possible replacement therapy would be of great advantage. Using data known about BFCNs arising from studies of the mouse median ganglionic eminence (MGE), the laboratory of John A. Kessler at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA set out to determine a suitable source of cells for cell replacement therapy. This study (Bissonnette et al) is published in the May 2011 edition of Stem Cells.