2 July 2012
Step in the right direction for Alzheimer’s research
A recent study in Switzerland has shown that suffering from a brain infection in early life can increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s in later life.
The study, conducted on mice, involved triggering brain inflammation at different life stages and monitoring the outcome. This single infection, when delivered before birth, proved enough to induce long term neurological changes in old age. The effects were even more severe in those who had been infected in adulthood or those that had been genetically modified to produce a human version of a brain protein associated with Alzheimer’s.
If this same theory could be applied to humans, or severe brain inflammation is in fact a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s, anti-inflammatory drugs could provide a much needed treatment for the disease and some relief for all who suffer because of it.
Dr Marie Janson, from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK said, ‘While we know that the immune system plays a role in human Alzheimer’s disease, clinical trials with anti-inflammatory drugs have not yet shown conclusive benefits in treating the disease and so more research is needed to fit these pieces of the puzzle together.”
Even with further research needed the future looks bright for further development towards more effective coping strategies.