Advertisement

Research in full swing to derive a cure for Alzheimer's disease

Scientists are studying a new inhibitory neurotransmitter that can cure Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease cure

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative mental disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour. It is the most common form of dementia and is commonly seen in the elderly. While the chances of developing the disease increase with age, it is now seen that younger people are also now being diagnosed with the disease.

During the course of Alzheimer's disease, nerve cells in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought die due to plaque deposition. Symptoms include confusion, mood swings, impaired reasoning or judgement, long-term memory loss and a gradual loss of bodily functions.

Also Read

More News

Though there are various treatments and therapies to help one effectively deal and live with this condition, till date there has been no cure for the same. It is more hard on the care giver's part to put up with the symptoms of the patients. With Alzheimer's it's not only the patient but also the family is affected to a large extent. Without cure this disease puts the patient and his loved ones out of gear. But this can now be a thing of past.

In a ray of hope for people suffering from this largely incurable Alzheimer's disease, scientists have stumbled upon an inhibitory neurotransmitter that could be new target for Alzheimer's drugs. The discovery has the potential for development as a novel diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia and one for which no cure has yet been found.

'The research in our lab is now focused on finding new drug targets and on developing new approaches for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's disease,' said lead researcher Gong Chen, a professor of biology at Penn State University. Researchers recently discovered an abnormally high concentration of one inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients.

He and his team found the neurotransmitter, called GABA, in deformed cells called 'reactive astrocytes' in a structure in the core of the brain called the dentate gyrus. Chen's team found that the GABA neurotransmitter was drastically increased in the deformed versions of the normally large, star-shaped 'astrocyte' cells. 'The excessively high concentration of the GABA neurotransmitter in these reactive astrocytes is a novel biomarker that we hope can be targeted in further research as a tool for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease,' Chen concluded.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative mental disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behaviour. It is the most common form of dementia and is commonly seen in the elderly. While the chances of developing the disease increase with age, it is now seen that younger people are also now being diagnosed with the disease.

During the course of Alzheimer's disease, nerve cells in areas of the brain that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought die due to plaque deposition. Symptoms include confusion, mood swings, impaired reasoning or judgement, long-term memory loss and a gradual loss of bodily functions. Dementia is the most prominently visible symptom. People with Alzheimer's begin to have problems recognising family and friends. They also find it exceptionally difficult to learn new things, carry out tasks that involve multiple steps (like getting dressed) and cope with new situations. They might suffer from insomnia. In the more severe stages of Alzheimer's disease, the brain completely shrinks and they become increasingly dependent on others.

With inputs from IANS

You might also like to read:

For more articles on Neurological disorders, visit our Neurological disorders page. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on