Encouraging news from the current issue of the British Journal Nature. Doctors in Milan, Italy, are finding early success using stem cells to treat Muscular Dystrophy. In the study at San Raffaele Institute, researchers used stem cells taken from dogs rather than from embryos and here's what they found that when those stem cells were transplanted into dogs severely disabled by muscular dystrophy, the dogs were able to walk faster and even jump. No one knows yet whether this would work in humans but a spokesman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association credits this study with the most exciting results she's seen in eight years.
Many are hopeful that a new drug could be the answer for millions of Alzheimer's patients. It's called Huperzine-A. "It is very safe, it has a long history of being used in China where it was discovered,"said Dr. Charles Decarli, an Alzheimer's Specialist. "It made her want to get up out of the chair, it made her want to go out to the pool and swim laps, it made her want to go out and prune her flowers," said Karen Galley, whose mother has Alzheimer's. Doctor Charles Decarli is conducting a clinical trial of Huperzine-A through UC Davis' Alzheimer's Center. He said some patients tolerate this natural herb better than some Alzheimer's drugs but more study is needed.