Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible condition that over 5 million Americans suffer from. This number is predicted to go up to 16 million within the next forty years. This makes finding treatment to this ailment one of the top priorities in the world of medicine.
There is only one goal that beats finding an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, it’s preventing the disease. According to the news from the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, there is some progress in this direction.
Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, neurology professor of the aforementioned institute, managed to determine that cocoa extract (lavado) has an ability to block or reduce damage to nerve pathways. This property allows preventing cognitive deterioration that is one of the most awful symptoms of this disease.
Lavado is rich in antioxidants that are more potent than those found in green vegetables and fruits. This makes it extremely effective in Alzheimer’s prevention, as it helps to keep your nerves healthy.
Another important piece of news on Alzheimer’s comes from Washington University of St. Louis. Scientists there work extremely hard on determining the effects of the apolipoprotein E.
ApoE is a gene that is considered responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s in old age. It has been singled out a while ago, but it’s only now that the scientists come to understand how exactly it triggers the disease.
If the research of this matter will be successful, and it becomes possible to determine how apoE works, there will be a chance to find ways to block it. Even today, the scientists working on this project managed to modulate apoE through immunotherapy. The experiments have only been done on mice so far, but the results are inspiring.
One more important research report from this university revolves around “prion hypothesis”. This is the idea that explains the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease by spreading of protein aggregates in the brain. In 1997, the scientist that created this theory got the Nobel Prize for his achievement. The research of the hypothesis hasn’t stopped since.
This led to the discoveries made by doctors David Sanders and Sarah Kaufman. They managed to determine that the tau protein, majorly responsible for brain cells destruction, can be corrupted. This means that tau formations that end up literally turning your brain to mush can be destroyed before they deal some irreparable damage.
National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan 2014
As the spread of Alzheimer’s disease takes pandemic proportions, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been promoting the research of this problem, with five major goals in the forefront of the study:
- Finding effective preventive and treatment options by 2025.
- Improving the care of patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s.
- Supporting people suffering from the disease induced dementia and their families.
- Increasing the public’s awareness of the problem and the latest advances in its treatment and prevention.
- Tracking results of these efforts and collecting data that can be used to further these goals.
In their recently released plan for 2014 HHS highlight the following:
- Identifying Alzheimer’s disease in its initial stages must be accelerated. There must also be developed some test targets for intervening and preventing the progress of the condition.
- Alzheimer’s disease researchers, care providers and caregivers must work closely with each other and exchange data to further the study of the disease.
- Guidelines and quality measures developed for the care of dementia patients must be strengthened to provide them with better service. Their families also must be taken into account.
- Health care providers must be assisted with understanding the best ways to care for dementia patients.
Nowadays, the governments of many countries, as well as many private donators invest a great deal of money in Alzheimer’s research. Hopefully, this will help finding the cure and most effective prevention tools.