What is Alzheimer disease?
Alzheimer is a brain disease, which sees the organ deteriorate at an alarmingly fast rate; this can be caused by chemical changes, and cells being destroyed – disabling the brain from making connections and signals, a vital method for your body to have motor skills, speech, sight, hearing, and logical thinking.
Symptoms can include:
- Memory loss.
- Losing use of limbs and other bodily functions.
- Loss of logic and problem – solving abilities.
- Severe stages can lead to loss of independence and need for care.
- The disease eventually results in death, when the brain has deteriorated to the point of not being able to function.
What current treatments are available for Alzheimer’s?
There is no current cure, but similar to cancer, it depends on the stage the disease is at, to how much the treatment can prevent it from progressing, and for any future damage to your motor skills.
Treatments available for early stage Alzheimer’s:
- Cognitive stimulation – exercises for improving thinking, logic and memory.
- Cholinesterase inhibitors – Galantamine, Rivastigmine or Donepezil – these drugs can stop disease progression, and help people to function better.
- Memantine – these are for severe forms of the condition, where the drug can reduce some of the symptoms, but it cannot stop progression or cure the disease.
What’s the new Molecular mechanism that’s been discovered?
A molecule, known as NCAM2, was found to be very low in Alzheimer sufferers, which was discovered in alive and dead patients – a scientific breakthrough, that has never been detected before with the disease.
It was also discovered that the clumps found in the sufferers’ brain were beta-amyloid proteins, which were destroying the NCAM2 chemical.
Why is this important?
This means that by identifying the new brain pattern, it can lead to a very effective measurement of the condition and a much earlier diagnosis of the disease, which allows for more options to be available for the patient – with a much higher chance of stopping progression very early on.
Benefits of the new Molecular mechanism:
- Gives a direction for new treatments to focus on the balance of NCAM2 patients, which seems to be the strong offender in causing the disease.
- Opportunity to discover the disease in very early stages – giving the patient a much higher chance of recovering.
- Having a measurement of NCAM2 levels gives a lot of information about the stage that the patient is at with the disease – with even the potential for future medicines to increase levels in sufferers, thus reversing the Alzheimer’s.
Disadvantages of the new Molecular mechanism:
- Although the data is there, with a much higher understanding, it is still a wide open field with a lot of questions that need to be answered.
- Time and expense in doing the brain procedure.
- It still hasn’t brought a cure, but a more effective indicator of Alzheimer’s development.
This new finding is a breakthrough, which has provided a lot more understanding about Alzheimer’s for medical scientists – with even a new direction to look for when trying to find cures for the future.
However, for the here and now, it is still under testing and hasn’t been released mainstream yet to the public. But the measurement for NCAM2 has high potential, especially for checking a patient’s progress, which would be a lot more accurate in knowing what treatment they should choose.