Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer's

Louis A. Cona, MD

Jan 8, 2020

Reading time: 3 minutes 50 seconds

Stem cell treatment for Alzheimer's Disease aims to replace the damaged cells with healthy stem cells which can grow on their own, hence, creating new healthy brain cells.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, categorized by a steep decline in one’s ability to recall memory, think clearly and ultimately function independently. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative condition that results in the loss of brain cells. Generally, Alzheimer’s is associated with memory loss and the loss of simple cognitive abilities, impairing one’s ability to complete daily tasks. 

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for between 60%-80% of dementia cases worldwide. The condition usually affects people over the age of 60, but it can affect people as young as 30-40 years old. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. On average, a person with Alzheimer’s lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.”

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease can become much more debilitating than simple memory loss. According to the Mayo Clinic (1) people with Alzheimer’s may:

  • Forget conversations, appointments, and names
  • Get lost easier, lose their sense of direction
  • Have difficulty finding the correct word to associate with a familiar object
  • Repeat questions and statements
  • Eventually, forget the names of friends and family members
  • Changes in personality or behaviour

These symptoms can significantly impair one’s ability to function at work or even at home, resulting in a loss of independence or self-sufficiency.

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

A combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors may cause the onset of Alzheimer’s.   The exact cause of the disease is currently unknown, but scientists do know that the emergence of Alzheimer’s coincides with the brain’s inability to function normally. 

Alzheimer’s may also be characterized by an increase in amyloid and tau protein buildup within the brain; though this is a symptom of Alzheimer’s, it has not been proven to be the cause of the disease.

Stem cell therapy for alzheimer's
Pictured: Alzheimer's in the brain, a buildup of Amyloid Plaques.

Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, although the condition is manageable to a certain degree with the proper treatments. Although these current treatments cannot stop the disease from progressing, it can slow the progression down as well as combat symptoms & improve quality of life.

Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Stem cell therapy for Alzheimer's may be able to:

  • Improve functional memory
  • Regenerate neurons
  • Improve overall functional recovery
  • Replace damaged cells with health cells

Stem cell therapy is a unique approach to treating Alzheimer’s Disease. It involves the systemic introduction of Mesenchymal Stem Cells into the body via IV.

When introduced in large quantities, these stem cells can find inflammation within the body and repair it. This unique property of stem cells is what potentially makes them a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

According to Lawrence Goldstein, Ph.D., The increased amount of plaques and tangles within the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient affect two essential proteins: ‘amyloid-beta’ and ‘tau.’ (2)

Stem cell treatment for Alzheimer's Disease aims to replace the damaged cells with healthy stem cells which can grow on their own, hence, creating new healthy brain cells.

How do stem cells help Alzheimer's?

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) or stromal stem cells can differentiate into many different types of cells within the body, including bone cells, cartilage, muscle cells, and even neural cells. They are primarily found in the bone marrow of every person and remain dormant until called upon to promote healing within the body. They age as we age, and their number and effectiveness decreases over the years. 

By sourcing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from donated cord tissue and expanding them to more significant numbers, the medical community has created the ability to supplement a person’s stem cell count through transplantation with younger, highly competent cells.

According to Sung S. Choi and colleagues in a 2014 study titled Alzheimer’s Disease and Stem Cell Therapy 

Stem cells have therapeutic effects using regeneration and substitution of cells and tissues themselves. The therapeutic strategy of stem cells has two directions. One is to induce the activation of endogenous stem cell, and the other is to regenerate the injured cell or tissues through stem cell transplantation” (3)

Stem cells can improve functional recovery for Alzheimer's

Choi continues to state that the transplantation of stem cells been able to improve functional recovery for Alzheimer’s Disease. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) could promote survival, increased metabolic activity and help to rescue the AD cell model in vitro.

Chi also states that the transplantation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) has been able to reduce Aβ deposition, to improved memory and to alleviate the AD pathology in AD mouse models. 

What makes stem cell therapy for Alzheimer’s so exciting is its possibility to halt the progression of the disease as well as regenerate damaged neurons rather than just slowing it, or managing symptoms.  

Stem cell research for Alzheimer's Disease

Stem cell research has proven the safety of using mesenchymal stem cells to treat a range of conditions. (4)  The efficacy of stem cell therapy ranges as per condition however, the literature is well on its way to solidifying the effectiveness of treatment for certain conditions, Alzheimer's being one of them.


1) Alzheimer’s Disease. (2018, December 8). Retrieved from

2) van der Kant, R., Goldstein, L.S.B. & Ossenkoppele, R. Amyloid-β-independent regulators of tau pathology in Alzheimer disease. Nat Rev Neurosci 21, 21–35 (2020) doi:10.1038/s41583-019-0240-3

3) Choi, S. S., Lee, S.-R., Kim, S. U., & Lee, H. J. (2014, March). Alzheimer's disease and stem cell therapy. Retrieved from

4) Wei, L., Wei, Z. Z., Jiang, M. Q., Mohamad, O., & Yu, S. P. (2017, October). Stem cell transplantation therapy for multifaceted therapeutic benefits after stroke. Retrieved from


Tyler explains his experience at DVC Stem in the Cayman Islands.

Tyler is optimistic that he will see positive results post treatment.

"The cool thing about the Cayman Islands besides being beautiful, it was an opportunity to get some rest and relaxation allowing my body to heal and restore. I'm back in the US now and feel like I am ready to conquer the world."

- Tyler Heid


2 weeks post treatment, MS patient Tyler is beginning to see amazing progress. He has been wheelchair bound for the last year and has not been able to move his legs unassisted before now.

Tyler Heid, lifting his foot 12" off the ground with 2 lb weights on his ankles.

Tyler - 2 weeks post treatment

"I'm on a path of progression and I'm getting better and better each day."

Tyler Heid - 2 months post treatment


Tyler updates about his progress, explaining the amazing response he has been receiving from his friends and family.

"People coming up to me saying I am moving, talking and smiling so much better. They are noticing a lot of things that have improved over the course of 3 months."

"This morning I was able to do things that I was unable to do before, I was able to stand up and lift my leg higher than I ever have before."


5 months post treatment Tyler sends us an update on his progress.

"I'm able to smile better, I have more control over the left side of my face."

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler is optimistic and on the right track to recovery. We are ecstatic to see his progress and look forward to more updates from him.

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler Heid - 5 months post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

About the author


Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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