We all know that as we age, certain body functionality begins to decline. Hearing and eyesight can be one of the first few things to decline as we grow older.
However, one of the scariest things to lose as a senior is one’s memory. Whether short-term memory or long-term memory loss occurs, it can be frightening for both the person experiencing it and their family members.
The saddest diagnosis a person with significant memory loss can be given is Alzheimer’s disease. It is a slowly progressive but destructive disease that at this point has no cure.
Researchers, while developing further effective treatments for diabetes, actually came across a new cure for Alzheimer’s that would help increase brain function in those suffering from the horrible disease. According to the head researcher, this new treatment “holds clear promise.”
Developing new treatments for ailments can be a tedious and frustrating process for scientists. Oftentimes, newly developed drugs just don’t work the way they were intended, falling short of expectations and leading to a dead end. But other times, a drug developed for one purpose turns out to be even more effective at treating something completely different. That appears to be exactly what is happening with a new class of drug originally developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but has recently been shown to have a drastic benefit in mice with Alzheimer’s.
The new drugs, which are classified as “triple agonist” (because they work in three ways), were tested on mice which were developed to express genes linked to Alzheimer’s. The animals were already exhibiting many of the symptoms associated with the disease, including compromised memory and difficulty learning, but showed dramatic improvement in their brain function after receiving the unique treatment.
The treatment “holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease,” Professor Christian Holscher, lead researcher of the study, explains. The research was published in Brain Research.
According to the study, the triple-acting treatment is thought to work against Alzheimer’s disease by protecting nerve cells, reducing amyloid plaques in the brain (which have been linked to Alzheimer’s), and reducing inflammation while slowing nerve cell degradation. Mice that received treatment demonstrated significant improvement in learning as well as memory formation.
This is phenomenal news. Instead of worrying about quality of life issues for those declining from this horrendous disease, we can now actually see light at the end of the tunnel and now start worrying about how soon to start such treatments for recovery. And that is a wonderful problem to have.