Alzheimer’s disease studies have had a major breathrough with new information from Monday’s Nobel Prize winners in medicine.
Their discovery of cells that act as the brain’s gps could have a serious impact on our understanding of how Alzheimer’s disease works, and therefore, how it can best be treated.
British-American researcher John O’Keefe, co-winner of the 2014 prize with Norwegians May-Britt and Edvard Moser, believes that a better understanding of how these cells degrade is the key to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia in general.
“We’re now setting up to do much more high-tech studies where we hope to follow the progression of disease over time,” said O’Keefe.
He added, “This will give us the first handle as to when and where the disease starts and how we can attack it at a the molecular and cellular level.”
A major discovery in the foggy science that is Alzheimer’s disease has been long-awaited.
Millions are affected by Alzheimer’s disease each year, but there has yet to be a solid cure or treatment. Undertanding of the disease is still flailing and development of drugs has seen only one failure after another.
Could this be the Alzheimer’s disease information that is needed to help complete the puzzle?
The information garnered from this research won’t have immediate effects, but the basic understanding it provides as to how the disease progresses is seen as vital in the medical community.
“Understanding how the healthy brain functions, especially areas of the brain crucial to learning and memory, is incredibly important in understanding what changes occur during conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said Doug Brown, director of research and development at Britain’s Alzheimer’s Society.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of Dementia, a condition which affects 44 million people worldwide. That number is expected to jump to 135 million by 2050.
New information is sorely needed to protect our generation and future generations from Alzheimer’s disease. Hopefully these new discoveries will lead to medical advances soon.