There’s never been a more exciting time in the world of Alzheimer’s research than now, and new developments seem to be springing up each time we turn around! The latest findings are slated to have a huge impact in the quest for treatments and a cure: the correlation between Alzheimer’s and the body’s natural immune response to infections.
While researchers have been working to connect the dots between the beta amyloid protein and Alzheimer’s, the most recent twist in the puzzle comes from the discovery that this protein is displaying the ability to fight off infections in mice. If beta amyloid works the same way in humans, getting rid of this bacteria-fighting protein, as some drug trials have tried, could be dangerous.
If this theory is correct, it follows that Alzheimer’s is likely triggered by an over-reactive immune response to a pathogen, causing problems in older brains that are unable to handle the overload.
While still inconclusive, the findings coincide with what we already know about the importance of exercise, proper sleep and a healthy diet, expanding those benefits into the realm of potentially preventing Alzheimer’s. It also paves the way for other possible treatment options, such as inflammatory reduction medications and vaccines.
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