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How we can use induced pluripotent stem cells to treat Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in the future?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Medical
Wordcount: 2175 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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How we can use induced pluripotent stem cells to treat Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in the future?

Induced pluripotent stem cells are cells that can differentiate into other cells and then if they are being used to treat diseases then the stem cells will replace the diseased cells and help the patient recover from that disease. We can get these cells by taking a sample of skin or blood, we can then use that and add four specific genes (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 andc-Myc) (1) and then we must wait thirty days for the stem to produce. When they are finally produced, we can then inject the pluripotent stem cells back into the patient. They should replace the original diseased cells and hopefully cure the disease that the patient had.  This is very hard to get right because there is a 0.1% chance that we will get stem cells. We can take 50000 regular cells and only get 50 stem cells.

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 Prion disease is more commonly known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. This is a fatal disease that can be inherited and that is caused by prions in the brain. A prion is a misfolded protein. The pathology of this disease is the prion. As prions replicate they align with nerve cells and cause neurodegeneration to the patient. (2)This disease will cause inevitable death. This disease can affect many people, some of these include: adults aged 45-65, people who eat cow beef that has mad cow disease, 1 in 9 million people whose parents had the disease and people who had growth hormone treatment. The hormones they got were extracted from deceased people who had the disease.(3). The symptoms of this disease are difficulty walking, dizziness and slurred speech. The causes of this disease are the prions that are stored in the nerve tissue of the brain infect a cluster of cells and causes holes in the brain and that is what makes this disease so fatal. There is no treatment for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease at the moment but scientists at the national prion clinic are doing heavy research into finding one.  Induced pluripotent stem cells can be used to help this because it will save a lot of people and stop people’s families grieving.

I am now going to discuss why induced pluripotent stem cells could be used to treat Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease because even though it is a rare disease it still kills innocent people and leaves families grieving. 

There are many ways in which to study diseases using induced pluripotent stem cells. These ways include: disease modelling and drug screenings. I will now explain both of these ways with strengths and drawbacks. When I have finished explaining each one, I will give my overall opinion of that way of studying,

We can use the induced pluripotent stem cells to study Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and if there are enough people researching it then hopefully, we can find a cure. One way we use induced pluripotent stem cells to study disease is we take some cells from the patient and multiply them thousands and thousands of times using stem cells. This way we are not experimenting on our patients, but we are experimenting on their disease and this is the quickest way to do it. This is called disease modelling. There are other ways to study a disease, but this way is the quickest. The other ways are mathematical which uses algorithms and equations to study diseases and then there is animal studying which uses animals that have the same symptoms as humans to study the disease. Scientists always need to use the quickest way to study a disease because otherwise the patient could die if the studying method takes time.  (reference 4)

The quicker we start research and modelling the disease, the quicker we can find a cure and help save lives. If we use any other methods, it will take longer, and we could lose more people to this fatal disease. Disease modelling is done by extracting the diseased cells from the body and putting them into a dish then use the induced pluripotent stem cells into the dish and they will multiply into the diseased cells and then you have made your disease model. However, there are some drawbacks to using this method,   some of these include: that if it goes wrong the patient could get severely worse than they already were and not be able to have cells taken from them. There are also some strengths such as the cells that have been made into a model can be frozen and if ever needed to compare to another lot of cells, they can be reused in order to help someone else. One way in which disease modelling is good is that it can provide a quick way to find a cure for the cure. For example, if a thousand people had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease then scientists could just look for similarities and then devise a cure from that, but there isn’t a thousand people with this disease. Disease modelling is like having a thousand people with the disease but instead of a thousand people and a cramped hospital, it is a million diseased cells and a cramped petri dish. 

  Overall, I think that disease modelling is an amazing type of research because you don’t have to experiment on humans at all, you just have to take some of their diseased cells that they don’t need. I really believe that using disease modelling will help scientists find a cure for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. 

The other way we can use induced pluripotent stem cells to study disease is by drug screenings for large scale tests. Drug screenings is a way of determining if a person has a disease early and how to treat them as it is found early. There are many drug screenings, some of these include: breast screenings, urine screenings, saliva screenings, blood screenings and dot screenings. Finding out if a person has a disease early is crucial because if it is found early there could be treatment for the patient to remove the disease but if the disease is found later it could be fatal because the symptoms have gotten worse and could lead to death. If you see something or notice something unusual about yourself then you should get it checked out, even if it turns out to be nothing at least you were reassured that it was nothing serious.

If people are diagnosed with a disease quicker then it gives the scientists more time to either find a cure or to tell the doctors and nurses what treatment to give the patient, then when the treatment is over the doctors and nurses seek advice of the scientists about what antibiotics to give the patient to help them get over their treatment. There are drawbacks to drug screenings, one of these is that not every screening is available to every patient. This is a drawback because that group of people who can get the screenings are fine, they have gotten ridden of their disease but there may be a group of people that have the same disease and don’t know until it is too late for them to get the early treatment and if there is they will have to get the late treatment. The late treatment might not do anything to the patient and their disease could become fatal because they didn’t have access to the correct screening for their disease, this would be terrible. An advantage of this is that it can diagnose a disease early which is good because the patient could then have treatment to remove the disease and then have antibiotics to get over their treatment. This is important because if the disease isn’t diagnosed quickly then it could become fatal and unfortunately kill the patient.  There is currently no screening test for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The only way that doctors can tell if you had the disease is with a brain biopsy after you have died. They can make an accurate diagnosis after a few tests, but they are never truly certain until after you have died. (5)

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Overall, I think that drug screenings are a great way to study disease because they can help us get to a disease sooner rather than later. Although it does have its drawbacks it is amazing to now be able to have less people dying from diseases than there was 50 years ago. I think that drug screenings are an amazing way of finding out if somebody has a disease early and being able to treat them for that specific disease.  By using this method less people will die and less families will be left grieving. 

The scientists that use these ways of studying are very talented and have a great deal of knowledge and they take years studying one disease. There are some scientists that specialise in studying cancer, batten disease and some still study the common cold! These scientists can eventually find a cure for all of those diseases but in doing so they have to use these two studying methods in order to get their facts right and help them get the formation of the disease right and then how to produce an antibody to fight against that disease and help the patient return to normal.

In the future we can use induced pluripotent stem cells to fight almost every disease that exists but in order to be able to do that the scientists need to do a lot more research into neurodegenerative diseases and how they really affect humans. They also need to work on how to get a drug screening for certain neurodegenerative disease like: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Batten disease. As disease modelling as only recently been passed as ethical, scientists have been eagerly trying to find an efficient way to model the disease so that they can find and discover a cure quicker than they would of done without the model.

Using induced pluripotent stem cells can really help some people because even though it is still theoretical to use this method of treatment on humans, it has been tested and been successfully used and competed on mice. This could remain theoretical for a while because the only way they could o this is using someone who has on of the neurodegenerative diseases, and I don’t think that the patients loved ones will just let a complete stranger take their terminally ill mother, father or grandparents. As this is really hard to get someone with the disease to apply for experimental surgery. Some people could let their loved one go because their mind set could be thinking “they are terminally ill anyway so if they die, then it is just a bit sooner than we thought.

Overall I believe that with the right research we can cure every single disease that exists on earth today by using induced pluripotent stem cells. We will be able to do this by using drug screenings (which need more research into how to do them for neuro degenerative diseases.) and disease modelling (which needs more research because it is relatively new.). I do believe that with the right research I think that we can cure Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by using induced pluripotent stem cells.


  1. The hand book that was full of useful information and kindly given to me by my tutor. 
  2.  https://www.britannica.com/science/Creutzfeldt-Jakob-disease  this website helped me define the pathology of this disease, which really helped me to understand how it is formed. This was useful to me because it helped me get a better understanding of the disease.
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/creutzfeldt-jakob-disease-cjd/treatment/ This website helped a lot with the background information for my chosen disease and how the symptoms and terminallity affect people and their families.  This was very useful as it gave me a few key facts about the symptoms and how they affect people and their families.
  4. https://www.eurostemcell.org/new-tools-disease-research-reprogrammed-cells-disease-modelling#tab608 This website helped a lot with some background information on disease modelling and how scientists use it. I found this very interesting and useful.
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-screening/ This website helped a lot with a lot of detailed information about drug screenings and how they are great at detecting if someone has a disease earlier rather than later. This was useful because I had a vague idea about drug screenings and this website just set my ideas into what they actually are. This website also gave me some key facts about drug screenings.


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