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Neurosignals. 2006-2007;15(1):1-12. Epub 2006 Jul 4.

Nerve growth factor, neural stem cells and Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


The protein family of the neurotrophins (NTs) comprises structurally and functionally related molecules such as nerve growth factor (NGF) which influences the proliferation, differentiation, survival and death of neuronal cells. In addition to their established functions for cell survival, NTs also mediate higher brain activities such as learning and memory. Changes in NT expression levels have thus been implicated in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), an age-related neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive loss of memory and deterioration of higher cognitive functions. The present review provides an overview of the functional role of NGF in neural stem cells and AD while pointing to a potential application of this peptide for the treatment of AD.

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