Weekly reads: Alzheimer’s & lipid droplets, stem cells for COPD, fecal tx warning, med school teaching

So many things go wrong during the lead up to clinically-evident Alzheimer’s disease. This complex disease pathway has, in turn, led to a vast array of approaches to try to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s. Most of these efforts one way or another have something to do with the amyloid plaques and tangles that accumulate in the brain leading up to this disease.

Targeting amyloid has only had mixed results.

lipid droplets Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's
The lipid associated enzyme ACSL1 accumulates with AD. “Representative immunofluorescence images of human frontal cortex adjacent to the tissue used in snRNA-seq experiments stained for microglia marker IBA1 (green), ACSL1 (red) and DAPI (blue) in an aged-matched healthy control subject (left), an AD-APOE3/3 subject (middle) and an AD-APOE4/4 subject. Scale bars, 20 μm. Fig. 1J. Haney, et al. Nature 2024.

The role of lipid droplets in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis

Now a new, exciting Nature paper suggests a somewhat different pathogenic component to Alzheimer’s. Abnormal lipid droplet buildup in glia. This study sparked quite a bit of media coverage. For example, Root cause of Alzheimer’s may be fat buildup in brain cells, research suggests, MedicalXpress. 

There also is a connection between APOE and this lipid buildup. Interestingly, the original Dr. Alzheimer for whom the disease was named also noted the lipid accumulation more than a century ago. It just hasn’t been well understood.

Stem cell YouTube channel

Before we go into the other weekly recommended reads, if you haven’t already, check out our Stem Cell YouTube channel. We are now well over 1,000 subscribers but we’re hoping to get eventually get to 2,000. If you like the videos, please subscribe.

I’ve included one of the most watched videos below on FDA-approved stem cell and other cell therapies, which also includes approved gene therapies and combination approaches.

More on SOT or supportive oligonucleotide therapy

I also wanted to mention something I posted about last week, SOT or supportive oligonucleotide therapy. This unproven and as best as I can tell non-FDA-approved RNA therapy from the firm RGCC is being widely sold in the US. While it seems to me to be an unapproved drug here, remarkably it’s used at dozens of American clinics.

In researching that story, I also found clinics in the US selling apparent cell therapies from RGCC too. This is a heads-up that a story on the cell therapy side is coming up in the next week or so. One of these cell therapies even has “iPSC” in the name, which is potentially alarming if it actually involves unapproved iPSC cells. I’m not sure it does. Stay tuned.

Recommended reads

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