Stem cell therapy in Alzheimer's disease: possible benefits and limiting drawbacks

Mol Biol Rep. 2019 Feb;46(1):1425-1446. doi: 10.1007/s11033-018-4499-7. Epub 2018 Dec 18.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death globally and the main reason for dementia in elderly people. AD is a long-term and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that steadily worsens memory and communicating skills eventually leads to a disabled person of performing simple daily tasks. Unfortunately, numerous clinical trials exploring new therapeutic drugs have encountered disappointing outcomes in terms of improved cognitive performance since they are not capable of halting or stimulating the regeneration of already-damaged neural cells, and merely provide symptomatic relief. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the mechanism of action of stem cell may contribute to the development of novel and effective therapies. The revolutionary discovery of stem cells has cast a new hope for the development of disease-modifying treatments for AD, in terms of their potency in the replenishment of lost cells via differentiating towards specific lineages, stimulating in situ neurogenesis, and delivering the therapeutic agents to the brain. Herein, firstly, we explore the pathophysiology of AD. Next, we summarize the most recent preclinical stem cell reports designed for AD treatment, their benefits and outcomes according to cell type. We briefly review relevant clinical trials and their potential clinical applications in order to find a unique solution to effectively relieve the patients' pain.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Neurodegenerative disorders; Stem cell therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / cytology


  • Biocompatible Materials