Although it was identified as a disease more than a century ago, Alzheimer It continues to be a great challenge for those who are dedicated to developing research in the area, as it continues to be a terminal condition, with palliative treatments available, but without a definitive cure.
With the idea of raising research on this disease, beyond the limits within which it has been currently addressed, a team of scientists began to study Alzheimer’s using artificial mini-brains.
New possibilities for research with artificial brains
In the particular case of Alzheimer’s, much of the research has been developed thanks to the contribution of people who have decided to donate their bodies to scientific research. It has been useful, background information has been added thanks to this, but it has not helped to advance what is necessary.
With live models, the research could be much more approachable. However, there are some obstacles in between. Apart from the fact that the availability of volunteers is less, due to ethical restrictions, the application of totally experimental methods is not feasible, such as the application of a new drug that has not been tested before, the use of a technological instrument that has not yet been approved or another class of tests even more daring.
In these situations, cellular organoids come into action, which are artificial and organic reproductions that emulate, on a usually lower scale, the functioning of an organ.
Researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia, developed small artificial brains to carry out new research tasks around this disease. By working with them, they discovered different cellular mechanisms that can speed up or slow down the wear and tear of brain cells.
Specifically, they discovered that the klotho protein, usually associated with rejuvenating properties, was able to reduce the deterioration of brain cells associated with age and dementia by 89%. In this way, by dominating that factor, the progression of Alzheimer’s could be controlled.
Ernst Wolvetang, one of the study authors, he pointed to the University of Queensland: ‘We have found that human brain organoids can be used to study the molecular mechanisms that drive brain aging processes. This opens the way for testing many molecules that could become potential therapeutic drugs for a number of neurodegenerative diseases..
Although Alzheimer’s disease is one of the best-known and most common neurodegenerative diseases, the scope of this research could encompass other related conditions. ANDThe same research team affirmed that the advances obtained can also be applied to the treatment of Louis-Barr Syndrome, a condition that compromises the functioning of the cerebellum, the brain region that controls balance.