The Real Cause of Alzheimer's

Posted on December 27, 2017

Photo: pexels

According to a new study published in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry, the cause of Alzheimer's does not lie just solely in the brain. It could be a problem that involves the whole body.

Alzheimer's is a type of disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia and has usually been only thought of as a brain disease. However, new research published hints that the disease can also be triggered elsewhere in the body.

Amyloid-beta is the protein thought central to Alzheimer's and Chinese research has shown that it can contribute to the disease even when it comes from outside the brain. These findings are essentially suggesting that drugs can be used to target the kidney or liver in efforts to reduce toxic proteins before they reach the brain. Professor Weihong Song, who led the research, explains that the blood-brain barrier is weakened with age, which "might allow more amyloid-beta to infiltrate the brain, supplementing what is produced by the brain itself and accelerating the deterioration". It has already been discovered that production of the toxic amyloid-beta protein linked to Alzheimer's is produced in the blood platelets, blood vessels and muscles. But until now, it was unclear if that could be passed into the brain. The Professor thinks that the protein could be biochemically tagged to allow the kidneys or liver to clear it. He adds that "Alzheimer's disease is clearly a disease of the brain", but he also feels that attention needs to be paid to "the whole body to understand where it comes from, and how to stop it". This new discovery marks a new way of trying to target and reduce the toxic proteins causing Alzheimer's before it is too late.

This research is available here.

Category(s):Adult psychological development, Other, Parenting

Source material from PsyBlog

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