Scientists are taking a step forward in finding the cure for Alzheimer’s disease that may not only treat the disease, but may even be promising enough to reverse its effects and it may be available in the next five years.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow together with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology discovered a protein called IL-33 that was tested in mice that was found to reverse the degenerative damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline mice.
Scientists from the United Kingdom, USA and Canada are about to conduct clinical trials of the vaccine called Betabloc made by a Dublin-based pharmaceutical company and preliminary results revealed it to be safe and has no noted side effects.
This was also welcomed by the Alzheimer’s Society as a major step in finding the cure for Alzheimer’s for where no known drug has been previously found to cure the degenerative disease.
If the clinical tests succeed, this would be the first ever cure treatment for the disease and offer hopes of adding extra years of mental abilities and functions to millions of people suffering from this condition all over the world.
The administration process is relatively easy as this can only be done through injections on a daily basis at home.
The protein IL-33 occurs naturally with significant amounts of it found in the brain and the spinal cord. The protein levels drop as you age and it was replenishing it was the major challenge that drove the scientists to pursue it.
The protein works by stimulating the immune cells to search and destroy amyloid plaques – clumps of sticky protein in brain tissue – that is responsible for the damage in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s.
The experiments revealed that it provided short-term improvements in memory and reduced amyloid build-up in the brain by digesting the plaque as it stimulates the enzyme called neprilysin.
Researchers are hopeful that with the clinical trials to be started soon, the vaccines may be commercially available by 2021, through which it is planned to be distributed as an injectable medium rather than an oral pill to allow the protein to travel rapidly to the brain.
In the United States, Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of deaths and currently more than 5 million Americans are living with this degenerative condition, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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