Scientists May Have Just Unlocked The Key To Halting Alzheimer’s
Curbing brain inflammation may help people treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to a landmark new study.
Researchers at the University of Southampton in England conducted a series of experiments showing a chemical that reduces neuroinflammation may have the potential to protect against the memory and behavioral changes associated with the disease that affects roughly 5.3 million Americans.
“We have shown a way into tackling the disease, and now it is time to progress this to the clinical setup as soon as possible,” said Dr. Diego Gomez-Nicola, the lead author of the study that was published in the journal Brain on Friday.
An overactive immune system can result in chronic inflammation, which previous research has linked to Alzheimer’s. These new findings makes it increasingly apparent that inflammation is not a result of Alzheimer’s as much as a key driver of the disease.
With an aging population and no new dementia drugs in over a decade, the need to find treatments that can slow or stop disease progression is greater than ever.”
Dr. Doug Brown, director of research at Alzheimer’s Society
In one experiment, the researchers looked at the tissue of both healthy brains and the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The brains of people with Alzheimer’s had higher levels of microglia, or immune cells, which suggested brain inflammation.
The molecules that regulate the number of microglia became more active as the severity of the Alzheimer’s increased, resulting in even higher levels of inflammation.
In another experiment, researchers showed that the chemical known as GW2580 reduced memory loss and behavioral problems in mice with an Alzheimer’s-like condition.
They gave these mice an inhibitor to keep microglia from multiplying, and found that the progression of the disease stalled once microglia numbers stabilized. People with Alzheimer’s typically experience —> Read More