SBI Research Seminar November 10, 12.15-13.15

“Nerve growth factor treatment and Alzheimer´s disease”


Maria Eriksdotter 

Head, Professor
Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society

Karolinska Institutet
141 83 Huddinge


Alzheimer´s disease is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Millions of people suffer from AD for many years, experiencing a slow cognitive and functional decline. In Sweden. the prevalence is about 100 000. There is symptomatic but no curative therapy available.

Degeneration of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain correlates with cognitive decline in patients with AD. These neurons depend on nerve growth factor (NGF) for survival. Targeted delivery of exogenous NGF has emerged as a potential AD therapy due to its regenerative effects on the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons.

Here a novel treatment strategy for AD is presented, namely encapsulated cell biodelivery of NGF implanted stereotactically  to the basal forebrain of AD patients with the aim to halt the degeneration of the cholinergic neurons. Of note is that this is the first time in history that these types of devices have been implanted in the human basal forebrain.

Successful implantation of bilateral single or double implants with NGF producing cells to the basal forebrain in ten AD patients has hitherto been performed. Results from this trial will be presented and discussed together with implications for the future.

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