Stanford University finds a possible new approach to curing and preventing Alzheimer’s.
Have we been looking for an Alzheimer’s cure in all the wrong places? Or have they just been the necessary steps that needed to be taken to get us to where we are now?
Regardless of the answer to those questions, the good news is that a new approach to finding a cure for dementia causing illnesses has been found and it is looking promising.
The New Approach to an Alzheimer’s Treatment
Stanford University has reported that it has successfully been able to increase the IQ of their “Alzheimer – prone mice” by improving the immune system of the brain, instead of improving specific nerve cells.
This is an important finding because of how long researchers have been concentrating on the nerve cells themselves to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. So while the damage is being done in one place in the brain, this new research is suggesting that the actual damage is being caused by a failure in another part of the brain.
How Is the Immune System Linked to Alzheimer’s?
Per the research done at Stanford, there are specialized brain cells (microglia) that take care of bacteria and viruses in the brain before they can start doing damage. As people age these specialized brain cells stop being as effective in fighting bacteria and viruses, because of a protein that starts to coat all cell surfaces.
The research done at Stanford found that if they could block the action of this protein, they could get the microglia to start working again. Once the microglia was back doing what they were designed to do, they destroyed all the nerve-damaging substances that were present.
Now, this hasn’t been tested out on humans yet, only on laboratory mice. So a possible Alzheimer’s medication from the findings of this study is still years away; but it is still an encouraging step in the right direction.
Click here to read the full report in the Stanford Medicine News Center.