Researchers Uncover New Trigger for Alzheimer’s

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Discovering the Trigger for Alzheimer's Disease in Columbus, OH

Alzheimer’s disease is a serious concern for seniors. Advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for the condition. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles for every five years of age after 65. Currently there is no cure, and most medicines only treat the symptoms. However, a new study has identified a critical process in the cause of the disease, which may lead to more successful therapies in the future. Here’s what Alzheimer’s caregivers in Columbus need to know about this groundbreaking discovery.

What Triggers Alzheimer’s?

A joint team of Russian and British researchers at several institutions has uncovered a new function that may cause Alzheimer’s. Scientists have long believed that amyloid fragments, a type of protein that bind and build up in the brain, cause the disease. These clumps, called amyloid plaque, grow rapidly either because of something wrong with the proteins or a problem with the natural process that is supposed to remove them. The plaque builds up in the brain and damages the nerves that causes loss of brain function. The new study suggests this improper buildup is caused by the ways these protein fragments interact and bind with zinc ions that are found naturally in the body. They identified two types of amyloid proteins with specific characteristics that, when they bound with zinc ions, built up quickly and were unable to be removed by the body’s natural clean up mechanism.

Implications for Seniors

As seniors are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than any other age group, they stand to benefit the most from this study. Scientists hope to use this information to develop new drugs that can target the interaction between amyloids and zinc and hopefully prevent or cure the disease. While these therapies will likely not be on the market in time to help people currently living with Alzheimer’s, this study does have promising implications for the future.

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating illness that affects seniors and their loved ones. New research has identified a potential trigger for the condition and will hopefully be useful in developing effective treatments or a cure. In the meantime, there are Columbus home care options available to help local seniors manage their disease. Home Care Assistance of Columbus provides comprehensive Alzheimer’s care to help seniors meet the challenges of their disease in the comfort of home, whether they require safety monitoring, mobility training, or personal care assistance, our highly trained caregivers will help. Call us today at (614) 481-8888 to learn more and schedule a free in-home consultation.


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