Major cause of Alzheimer’s disease you need to know

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In a recent study by researchers from Yale-NUS College, a new insight has emerged into the possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that affects memory and cognitive abilities, primarily in older adults.

Alzheimer’s is not only the most common form of dementia but also the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease worldwide.

In Singapore, for instance, it is estimated that one in ten people over the age of 60 faces some form of dementia.

Despite over two decades of intensive research globally, the exact origins of Alzheimer’s remain elusive, and there is still no cure.

Traditionally, researchers have leaned towards the theory that Alzheimer’s is caused by the buildup of amyloid-beta protein in the brain. This substance clumps together, forming plaques that disrupt brain function.

However, a newer theory is gaining traction, suggesting that the root of the problem may lie in metabolic dysfunction, particularly within the mitochondria. These are the components of cells that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions.

This latest study provides compelling evidence supporting the metabolic dysfunction theory. The research team observed metabolic abnormalities in their models long before any significant increase in amyloid-beta protein was detectable.

These early findings suggest that addressing metabolic issues could be key to preventing or treating Alzheimer’s.

To investigate these metabolic changes, researchers used a tiny worm known as Caenorhabditis elegans. This worm is a favorite among scientists because, despite its simplicity, it shares many molecular characteristics with humans, making it an excellent model for studying human diseases.

An exciting development in the study was the discovery that Metformin, a common medication for diabetes, could reverse these metabolic defects in the worms.

Treating the worms with Metformin not only normalized their metabolic functions but also extended their typical healthspan and lifespan.

The implications of these findings are significant. They suggest that tackling mitochondrial and metabolic dysfunctions directly and early might be a more effective strategy than waiting for symptoms to appear.

This approach aligns with the broader view that conditions like Alzheimer’s are not isolated diseases but rather manifestations of the broader process of aging.

Understanding metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunctions as fundamental aspects of aging can shift how we approach age-related diseases.

Rather than targeting the specific diseases after they have developed, it might be more beneficial to focus on the underlying mechanisms of aging itself.

This preventive strategy could potentially change the way we handle not only Alzheimer’s but also other age-dependent diseases, making early intervention a key focus.

The study, led by Jan Gruber and published in the scientific journal eLife, is a step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

It not only challenges some of the longstanding theories about the disease but also opens new avenues for research and treatment, emphasizing the importance of metabolic health in maintaining brain health as we age.

This breakthrough highlights the interconnected nature of our body’s systems and reinforces the idea that a holistic approach may be crucial in tackling the complexities of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease and new non-drug treatment that could help prevent Alzheimer’s.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about diet that may help prevent Alzheimer’s, and results showing some dementia cases could be prevented by changing these 12 things.

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