Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition that affects around 5.1 million Americans. Recently, a group of researchers at the University of Southampton in England stumbled upon the possibility that a chemical designed to reduce neuroinflammation may be able to protect against the memory and behavioral changes that are typically associated with Alzheimer’s patients.
Previous researchers linked chronic inflammation, which is caused by an overactive immune system, to Alzheimer’s. The new findings show that inflammation is not actually a result of Alzheimer’s, but is actually a key driver of the disease. Researchers conducted an experiment in which they compared the tissues of healthy brains with those of Alzheimer’s patients. They found that the brains of Alzheimer’s patients contained higher levels of microglia, which suggests brain inflammation. The molecules that regulate these levels of microglia within the brain became more active as the severity of the patient’s Alzheimer’s increased.
In a second experiment, the chemical GW2580 was given to mice that had a condition similar to Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that the chemical helped to reduce memory loss as well as reduce behavioral problems in these mice. Researchers then provided these mice with inhibitors that prevented the microglia from multiplying. Once the microglia levels stabilized, the progression of the disease stalled. The inhibitor helped to prevent the breakdown in communication between the brain’s nerve cells, which is what Alzheimer’s patients usually experience.
The tests that were conducted on mice have shown a particular pathway that is active in the development of Alzheimer’s. Researchers are now planning on using the results of these experiments in order to develop a safe and suitable drug that can be tested on humans. The findings have also shown that both diet and lifestyle may play an active part in preventing Alzheimer’s since they could possibly help to fight inflammation.
Alzheimer’s disease continues to be a serious problem for millions of Americans. Fortunately, new research could result in the development of drugs that may prevent the disease. To keep up to date with medical news, or for information about healthcare, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store.