Researchers are focused on finding new treatments for dementia, with projections showing that an increase in dementia cases and deaths is expected in the future. Current figures show that about 67,000 individuals die from dementia annually in the United Kingdom.
Dementia is a group of neurodegenerative conditions that affect an individual’s mental processes and lead to changes in their personality, mood and memory, as well as cause impaired reasoning. The most common form of this condition is Alzheimer’s disease, which was discovered by Alois Alzheimer in 1906.
Despite the confidence that researchers have when it comes to new treatments for this disorder, there is still a lot they don’t know about what causes Alzheimer’s. For example, up until recently, scientists believed that Alzheimer’s was caused by build-up of the amyloid-beta protein in the brain. However, new evidence suggests otherwise.
A new study has found that damage to neurons that occurs before amyloid-beta build-up may be what triggers the disorder’s development. This study, which was carried out by researchers at New York University, was led by Ju-Hyun Lee. Lee stated that the group’s research findings showed that neuronal damage observed in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s was caused even before amyloid-beta first appeared.
Since the late-twentieth century, the theory that Alzheimer’s was caused by the build-up of the amyloid beta protein in the brain has been the dominant hypothesis for how the disease is caused. However, not all researchers accept this theory because it attributes the damage observed to what comes after the build-up of this protein outside the brain cells instead of before the buildup and within the neurons in the brain.
Ralph Nixon, a neurobiologist, stated that the new evidence produced by this study changed researchers’ fundamental understanding of how Alzheimer’s progressed as well as explained why some experimental treatments that had been designed to remove amyloid plaques failed to prevent the disease from progressing. This, he continued, was because cells in the brain had already been destroyed even before the plaque had formed. Amyloid plaques are usually formed as a result of a build-up of the amyloid-beta protein.
While these new findings raise doubt about the dominant theory on what causes Alzheimer’s disease, more studies are needed to confirm whether this actually the cause of this degenerative condition. Nixon noted that this new study suggested that future therapies center on rebalancing levels of acid inside neurons in the brain and reversing lysosomal dysfunction.
Given these new findings about the possible cause of Alzheimer’s, biopharmaceutical companies such as Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) that have an interest in developing treatments for various neurological conditions have their work cut out to use the latest available information and come up with viable treatment alternatives.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO
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