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Highly Accessed Review

Stem cell models of Alzheimer's disease and related neurological disorders

Frederick J Livesey

Author Affiliations

Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QN, UK

Alzheimer's Research & Therapy 2012, 4:44  doi:10.1186/alzrt147

Published: 6 November 2012

Abstract

Human models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have the potential to complement existing animal models for carrying out functional studies of AD pathogenesis and the development of novel therapies. An effective human cellular model of AD would use the appropriate cell types and ideally neural circuits affected by the disease, would develop relevant pathology and would do so in a reproducible manner over a timescale short enough for practical use. A pressing question for the usefulness of this approach is whether neurological diseases that take decades to become manifest in humans can be successfully modelled over a reasonable timescale. We discuss here whether these models can do more than simply replicate what is already known about AD, and evaluate some of their potentially unique advantages.