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Scientists Reveal Brain Immune Cells Might Help Stop Alzheimers

By jeremyc | March 8, 2018

Two recent studies reveal that immune cells of the brain might play a crucial role in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

A neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It is estimated that over 5 million individuals in the U.S. are living with this condition. The neurological damage that is seen in Alzheimer’s is believed to be triggered by plaques, which are formed when clumps of beta-amyloid (a type of protein) are formed.

Normally, this protein can be found in membranes surrounding nerve cells. However, problem starts when it forms plaques or small clumps between neurons. This in turn prevent neurons affects the communication between neurons. As a result brain function is impacted.

For a long time now, researchers have tried to understand how beta-amyloid leads to Alzheimer’s symptoms. Some scientists have even attempted to create anti-beta-amyloid drugs. However, in nearly every case, clinical trials have been mostly unsuccessful.

In these two studies, the scientists focused on a specific receptor called TREM2. In both the studies, it was found that increasing the levels of TREM2 helped alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s by binding with amyloid beta.

Both these studies were done on mice and scientists agree that there’s a long way to go before we might be able to replicate such results in humans without any serious side effects. Nevertheless, these two studies provide solid evidence that lowering the levels of amyloid beta helps improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Topics: | Alzheimer's/Dementia | No Comments »

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