Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating disease that until now the medical profession had little to offer, but that is all in the past. New research has discovered a way to treat and perhaps avoid Alzheimer’s disease altogether.
Researchers think they have found a way to prevent Alzheimer’s. It’s a mutation that protects the brain. Twenty years ago studies found that rare gene mutations occur in the brains of Alzheimer patients causing excessive amounts of a normal substance, beta amyloid to build up in the brain. The newly discovered mutation does the opposite, it slows the production of beta amyloid production. This research information was published in the journal Nature and could possibly be the answer so long awaited for by effected families and the medical profession. Drug companies who have invested in drugs to reduce beta amyloids expect to slow the deterioration of the disease and perhaps prevent it.
Dr. David Altshuler, a genomics expert at Harvard said,” Drug companies bets on anti amyloid treatments could pay off.” So far the drugs have not succeeded but researchers say there are reasons that will soon be cleared up. It is the most significant discovery since researchers first noticed gene mutations that cause the disease 22 years ago.
The new gene mutation was found when researchers scanned the DNA of 1,795 Icelandic people. About 1 in 100 had a mutation in the gene for a large protein that is sliced to form beta amyloid. They then scanned people 85 and older and people who had been given an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The ones with the mutation appeared to be protected from Alzheimer’s disease. The investigation was led by Dr. Kari Stefansson, chief executive of DeCode Genetics in Iceland.
This will be good news for those who fear Alzheimers. Perhaps the medication will be available at all pharmacies and doctors everywhere will prescribe to those who may be genetically inclined to this devastating brain disorder. It’s one of the most important happening in medicine today, with the aging population out numbering younger folks for the first time in history, there will be even more aging parents to be provided for by older offspring.