Thomas Edison’s infamous words ring true today in the race to find both the cause and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Each day seems to bring hopeful news of yet another clinical trial, followed soon after by the disappointing news that results failed to meet expectations – and so the cycle continues.
One neuroscientist, Christian Holscher, is proposing that in order to win the battle against Alzheimer’s, we need to look beyond the tried-and-tried-again plaque theory. In fact, he points to the identifier of the disease himself, Alois Alzheimer, who stressed that while certain plaques were found exclusively in older brains, there was no conclusive evidence that they actually cause the disease. Yet researchers have continually honed in on these plaques as the culprit, only to come up empty.
Holscher suggests an interesting avenue that should be explored instead in our quest to crush Alzheimer’s: the link between Alzheimer’s and insulin. We know that those with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s; and, we know that brain cells require insulin to grow and remain healthy. Could insulin deficiencies lead to the type of irreparable neuron damage displayed in Alzheimer’s?
Studies of brain tissue from those with Alzheimer’s who are deceased confirmed that insulin’s effectiveness in brain cell growth was lost, and interestingly, this was true in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients – leading scientists to the conclusion that testing diabetic treatments on those with Alzheimer’s is worth a try. A recent clinical trial to test this theory showed promising results, with neuron deterioration halted in patients throughout the 12-month study.
North River Home Care will continue to closely follow any and all developments in the ongoing quest for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Our care team is highly skilled and experienced in effectively managing some of the more challenging aspects of the disease, while helping those affected to live life to their fullest potential. Whether the need is for just a few hours each week for family caregivers to take a much-needed break from care, full-time, around-the-clock monitoring and assistance, or anything in between, North River Home Care is here to help.
Contact us at 781.659.1366 to request additional Alzheimer’s disease resources and to schedule a free consultation, right in the comfort of home, to learn more about our professional in-home care assistance.