Alzheimer’s disease research has leaned toward looking for the earliest signs and symptoms of the disease stage and process, rather than disease treatment. Health News…
A new study has shown evidence of early brain damage in young people at increased risk for the disease in some cases.
New findings suggest that changes in myelin, which protects nerve cells, may be a sign of increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. Health News..
A team of UCLA professors of neurology researched conducted brain scans on 398 young, healthy people between ages 20 to 30. Those participants who carried a specific gene mutation that is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s – linked to the CLU gene – had unique characteristics in white matter (the bundles of nerve cells) in multiple brain tissues, including in some areas known to become damaged in Alzheimer’s disease. The results suggest that alterations in myelin, the main substance that protects nerve cells, may indicate to an increased risk of developing the disease later in life.
Alzheimer disease stages can be put under control
“Alzheimer’s has traditionally been regarded a disease marked by neuronal cell loss and common gray matter atrophy,” one professor stated. “However degeneration of myelin in white matter fiber pathways is more and more being considered a key disease component and another possible cause to the disease, and this discovery supports that.”
People who have this particular mutation in the CLU gene not always develop Alzheimer’s disease. Young people who have these changes in white matter are not cognitively impaired. But knowledge about this genetic risk could be used to help prevent the Alzheimer’s disease in alater life stage.
Alzheimer still without cure, though progress made in Alzheimer treatment
Although current Alzheimer disease treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and increase quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a global effort under way to find better ways to treat the Alzheimer disease, delay its initial phase, and prevent it from developing and getting more aggresive.