November is Alzheimer’s disease awareness month. For decades, scientists have focused on plaques in the brain and treatments to remove them. Now, with new discoveries, some researchers are questioning general wisdom about why some people develop Alzheimer’s disease and others do not. It is a theory that can lead to new treatments.
More than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and unless there is a breakthrough to prevent or treat it by 2050, their numbers are projected to grow to 12.7 million. For decades, scientists have believed that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the protein A-beta-42. This causes the accumulation of toxic amyloid in the brain. But now, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the University of Cincinnati say new research is questioning the theory.
“In fact, by the age of 85, 60% of us have amyloid in our brains and only 10% develop dementia,” said Dr. Alberto Espy. It is predicted whether amyloid is prevalent. “
Instead of reducing or removing plaque, researchers say treatment may include increasing levels of a soluble brain peptide called amyloid beta peptide. The researchers tested the theory by analyzing 600 brain scans. All of them had amyloid in their brains. People with normal cognition had higher levels of amyloid beta protein than those with dementia.
“The exchange of these proteins we are losing may be the most important strategy of the future,” Espay said.
We continue to research new treatment options for older Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
The research team has set up an independent company to develop an alternative protein and is working to test it in animals. According to Espy, his team’s theory has received various reviews in the scientific community. Some say this explains why new treatments that work to get rid of plaque in the brain have had limited success. Earlier this year, the FDA approved a drug targeting the removal of amyloid plaques for the first time in years after a period of intense debate.
The contributors to this news report are: CyndyMcGrath, Producer. Kirkmanson, filmmaker; Roque Correa, editor.