The battle against Alzheimer’s may be getting a major boost thanks to a new discovery. Researchers not only slowed the progression of the disease in a recent study….it appears they were able to reverse it!
“Remarkable” — that’s how researchers are describing the results of a new study done on mice displaying traits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
The deletion of just a single enzyme saw the near total reversal of the deposition of amyloid plaques found in brains of those with Alzheimer’s, improving cognitive functions in the mouse subjects, according to the study from researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, published Feb. 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
According to Futurism.com, “Researchers were able to reverse the formation of amyloid plaques, which gradually kill neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, in the brains of mice — essentially reversing the condition.
Alongside the reduction of plaques that impair communication between brain cells, the mice also experienced cognitive improvement. The authors achieved the promising set of results by gradually depleting an enzyme that plays a part in the formation of the plaques, known as BACE1.
Fox News wrote, “The study found that when scientists removed the BACE1 enzyme, it not only slowed the formation of amyloid plaque, but they were surprised it also caused existing plaque to disintegrate.
“When we looked at the mice later – at six-months and 10-months-old – all those pre-existing plaques were gone,” (senior researcher Riqiang) Yan said. He also pointed out that the removal of the enzyme improved learning and memory of the mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
Forbes.com added, “What does this mean for humans? Maybe nothing, maybe everything. We still have a long way to go, but the discovery that beta-amyloid plaques can be eliminated and cognitive function can be partially restored is very exciting and deserves intensely focused further research.”
MedicalXpress.com quoted Dr. Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, as saying:
“The effects that the researchers saw came from genetically modified mice, to develop a useful treatment in the fight against Alzheimer’s researchers will need to recreate these effects using drugs that are safe and effective in people.
“It is crucial that we continue to invest in research so that we can deliver on the promise of research like this and transform the lives of people with dementia.”
Let us know what you think about this latest study and whether you believe it could be a game-changer in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Generating meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!