Approximately 50 million adults around the world have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, this number is expected to be more than triple that amount. Researchers in many countries are learning about the factors that cause the condition and are also developing new treatment methods. Some of the latest developments were once viewed as science fiction.
The Berger Chip
Alzheimer’s develops when the body produces abnormal beta-amyloid and tau proteins. The fibers of the abnormal compounds are susceptible to tangling. The proteins continue entangling more proteins, which form clumps. The clumps cause misalignment of nerve cells, which then lose the ability to communicate axon to axon. Eventually, the nerve cells die. The damage results in confusion, memory loss, mood swings, and other cognitive, emotional, and physical changes. These symptoms can be challenging for family caregivers to manage. If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you require help to look after him or her, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Ft. Lauderdale Alzheimer’s care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors manage the challenges of Alzheimer’s. Whether your loved one requires cognitive stimulation, transportation to medical appointments, or assistance with daily tasks, expertly trained Alzheimer’s caregivers are the ideal solution.
In the quest for a cure for Alzheimer’s, Dr. Theodore Berger, a scientist from the University of Southern California, has developed an electronic chip that may replace the electrical signals once transmitted by healthy neurons. The hippocampus is the region of the brain that is typically affected by Alzheimer’s first, and the Berger chip assists the neurons in the hippocampus. The technology cannot retrieve information lost by neuron damage. However, the chip helps those who have the condition to create new memories and remember them. The innovation has shown impressive results in laboratory animals, and human clinical trials are in progress.
More Alzheimer’s Breakthroughs
A group of researchers from Duke University recently learned how certain types of immune cells that protect the brain contribute to Alzheimer’s disease by destroying the amino acid arginine. The study began by inducing brain plaques and tangles in laboratory mice to learn more about the onset of the disease. They found that microglia, which are the first line of defense against infection, began replicating and changing in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The group also discovered that the enzyme arginase was more prevalent in regions demonstrating neuron death. As symptoms began in another group of mice, scientists administered the medication difluoromethylornithine. This formula is known to block the arginase enzyme. The treated mice began showing cognitive improvement.
A group of Korean researchers are in the process of determining if the amino acid taurine might be beneficial for restoring cognitive function. Australian scientists are involved in clinical trials to learn if ultrasound might be a means of dissolving plaques in the brain. Researchers in the United States are in the process of assessing a newly developed medication, which has the potential to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Another group of American scientists recently learned that an existing FDA-approved formula is effective in eliminating the abnormal tau proteins that tangle, clump, and destroy nerve cells.
Through ongoing research and breakthroughs, Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders affecting cognitive function may one day be a chronic but treatable illness. Until a cure is found, families need to help their senior loved ones by taking steps to slow down the cognitive decline they are experiencing. Families who need help taking care of their senior family members can turn to Home Care Assistance. A caregiver in Ft. Lauderdale can encourage your loved one to adopt healthier habits and help him or her age in place safely and comfortably.
Ft. Lauderdale elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. For information on our elder care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers today at (954) 909-0370.