Scientists at Washington University have made what could prove to be a huge breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, after successfully performing an experiment which saw them remove the disease from mice.
The experiment used a new anti-body treatment, a method that many pharmaceutical companies have been trialling in recent years, but with none making it past the clinical stage.
It is thought that 20 years before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s kick in, people with the disease begin to develop amyloid beta plaques that build up in the brain and interfere with neural signals to cause cognitive and memory losses.
According to their new research, scientists at Washington University have created an antibody that could remove the proteins these plaques are made of altogether.
The new treatment targets a small part of the plaque’s proteins, but this leads to the destruction of the whole thing.
Similar attempts of using an antibody to break down the plaque’s proteins in recent trials have produced unsustainable side-effects; however, the antibody created in Washington broke down the proteins in mice without the side effects that worry scientists most.
If the treatment is as successful among human as it was with the mice, it could become a more effective and safe approach to factors of Alzheimers.
By removing plaques, if started early enough, in the future scientists and doctors may be able to stop the changes to the brain that result in forgetfulness, confusion and cognitive decline.