Certain antibodies may be able to remove Alzheimer's plaques from the brain, according to new research carried about in mice. As much as 20 years before the symptoms of Alzheimer's set in, people with the disease begin to develop amyloid beta plaques that build up in the brain and, scientists believe, interfere with neural signals to cause cognitive and memory losses. But researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have developed an antibody that can remove the proteins these plaques are made of altogether, according to their new research. Several recent clinical trials have tried to use antibodies to target the plaques, but none have gotten past these trial phases, and many treatments have come with unsustainable side effects. The new approach may offer a way around these side effects and stop Alzheimer's plaques before its heart-breaking symptoms begin, the researchers hope.
An eye test could spot Alzheimer's disease two decades before symptoms emerge, a new study claims. Comparing their results to brain scans, the eye test was just as successful at spotting those with twice the amount of plaque build-up in their brains. Experts say the finding is one of the biggest breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research to date, offering the first sign of a cost-effective and non-invasive test. 'The findings suggest that the retina may serve as a reliable source for Alzheimer's disease diagnosis,' said the study's senior lead author, Dr Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai. An eye test developed by researchers in Los Angeles managed to spot Alzheimer's-related plaque build-up in the brain before symptoms had fully emerged (file image) Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain.
A blood test to detect two molecules that act as indicators of a person's likelihood to get Alzheimer's disease later in life could be a'game-changer', a new study claims. The two molecules – P-tau181, a tau protein, and neurofilament light polypeptide (NfL) – are found in plasma, the light yellow liquid that makes up 55 per cent of our blood. In a sample of 557 people in their 60s and 70s, the presence of high levels of either P-tau181 and NfL were the most accurate predictors of the patient's progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to severe memory and thinking problems, typical of Alzheimer's. Researchers say blood tests to detect levels of the two molecules could allow doctors to track the progression of Alzheimer's disease progression in at-risk populations. The new study could help the development of routine blood tests to track Alzheimer's disease progression in at-risk populations'Our study is novel in the way we address the individualised predictive value of plasma Alzheimer's disease biomarkers,' say the experts, from Lund University in Sweden.
Alzheimer's disease could be reversed with gene therapy, a new study has shown. Scientists have discovered that a gene that causes the build-up of amyloid beta proteins that clog the brain can be rendered harmless by a genetic'snipping'. In experiments using a dementia patient's own cells, the defective gene variant APOE4 was turned into the healthy APOE3 version using the technique, known as gene editing, by the team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The discovery sheds fresh light on the age-related brain disease and could offer hope of better treatments. Turning a gene common in those with Alzheimer's disease, APOE4, into the healthy version, APOE3, stopped the production of a protein that smothers neurons, causing memory loss and confusion, a new study has found APOE transports fatty molecules, such as cholesterol, into the lymph system and then into the blood.
Alzheimer's disease could be treated by combining light and sound therapy, according to new research. The study showed that the non-invasive treatments boosted memory by destroying rogue proteins in the brains of mice. The molecules, known as beta amyloid, gather into plaques devouring neurons - triggering devastating symptoms of confusion. Scientists are hopeful the approach, which works by inducing brain waves known as gamma oscillations, will be just as effective in humans. Mice with Alzheimer's remained stable, with no progression of symptoms for a time, after light and sound therapy to stimulate their brains.