Cure for Alzheimer’s found at Stanford?

Cure for Alzheimer’s found at Stanford?

Has Stanford University discovered a cure for Alzheimer’s?

The cure for Alzheimer’s could lie in improving the brain’s immune response, according to recent research from Stanford University.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for about 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. There is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, but this new Stanford research may hold the key.

The research team found that nerve cells die in Alzheimer’s because cells that are supposed to protect from attacks stop working.

These cells, called microglia, start to decline with aging, due to a protein called EP2, which hampers their function.

The research shows that blocking EP2 can allow microglia to protect from amyloid-beta plaques, which damage nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease. The research wanted to find if blocking EP2 could hold a potential cure for Alzheimer’s.

Study shows blocking EP2 may provide cure for Alzheimer’s

The research team found that blocking EP2 in mice reversed memory loss and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Microglia are the brain’s beat cops,” said Dr Katrin Andreasson, Professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. “Our experiments show that keeping them on the right track counters memory loss and preserves healthy brain physiology.”

Microglia act as a frontline for our immune system, getting rid of any unwanted or dangerous invaders. They also neutralize dead cells and get rid of amyloid beta, which is believed to be a major factor in Alzheimer’s.

The microglia are supposed to be, from the get-go, constantly clearing amyloid-beta, as well as keeping a lid on inflammation,” explained Dr. Andreasson. “If they lose their ability to function, things get out of control. A-beta builds up in the brain, inducing toxic inflammation.”

This study documenting a breakthrough towards a cure for Alzheimer’s is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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1. “Blocking Receptor in Brain’s Immune Cells Counters Alzheimer’s in Mice, Study Finds.” Stanford University. Stanford University, 8 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.
2. “Prostaglandin Signaling Suppresses Beneficial Microglial Function in Alzheimer’s Disease Models.” Journal of Clinical Investigation. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2 Jan. 2015. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.
3. “Has Stanford University Found a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease?The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 8 Dec. 2014. Web. 09 Jan. 2015.
4. “What Is Alzheimer’s?Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s Association, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.

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