Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain illness that causes the victim to become confused and lose his cognitive functions. That means, as the disease progresses, he becomes unable to learn, think clearly, remember or retain information, reason out, make judgments, and do any of his normal everyday activities. Pretty soon, he even loses his ability to communicate, forcing him to withdraw from his environment.
People suffering from this tragic disease need our constant care and attention. But more than that, they need an Alzheimer’s cure. The only problem is that there is no Alzheimer’s cure, to date, and only very little treatment available. However, with the increase in Alzheimer’s cases over the course of a decade, much of the research now going on has been focused on finding an Alzheimer’s cure and fast.
Taking out its Roots
Any gardener would tell you that the only way to kill weeds is to pull it out by its roots. Shear off its top and it would only grow back in greater numbers. The same could be said with Alzheimer’s cure. In order to effectively put a stop to this debilitating disease, one would have to detect it on its early stage and take appropriate steps to halt further progression.
Scientists involved in Alzheimer’s research have been studying the dissected brains of deceased patients in the hopes of finding out the cause of the disease. They made some observations, the most important of which was the existence of two kinds of obviously abnormal structures in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
One is an abnormal build up of plaques located in the spaces between the afflicted brain’s nerve cells. These plaques are made of protein fragment called beta amyloid. The other is a tangles, which are abnormal collections found inside neurons and made of twisted protein threads called tau.
Further research showed that the beta amyloids are significant to the development of Alzheimer’s and that finding an Alzheimer’s cure would mean a closer look at this plaque formation.
Studies on Alzheimer’s Cure
In an exciting development of the Alzheimer’s cure research, the Irish drug company Elan and Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories in New Jersey worked jointly in a human test study which they announced in July 2001. This Alzheimer’s cure study is said to find out whether a new Alzheimer’s “vaccine” could halt or even cure the disease. However, after some of the volunteers of the study began to develop brain swelling after getting injected with the Alzheimer’s cure, the study was halted.
It was not until 2005 that a new form of Alzheimer’s cure was discovered by Howard Weiner and his colleagues. The Alzheimer’s cure is actually a nasal spray designed also to target the beta amyloid formation in the brain. Said study is set to be tested on humans in 2006.