Alzheimer’s symptoms could be reversed by restoring a protein which is missing in the brains of dementia sufferers, a new study suggests.
“This study focuses on reducing the amyloid (ama – loid) protein in dementia patients that is thought to be damaging in Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow and the Hong Kong University of Science showed that upping levels of the protein IL-33 mobilises the immune system into clearing out the protein amyloid in the brains of mice. Too much amyloid buildup in your brain forms sticky plaques which prevent brain cells from talking to each other.
It had already been established that the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s contains less of the IL-33 protein than the brain of non-sufferers.
When the protein was injected into the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s-type disease their memory and brain function rapidly improved within one week.
Although the researchers aren’t positive the protein will work in humans, they are optimistic.
Glasgow professor Eddy Liew, who co-directed the research, believes that eventually Alzheimer’s patients may be given booster shots of IL-33 to increase their supplies of the protein, much like diabetics are given insulin injections. “It is wonderful stuff,” he told Daily Mail. Sometimes, I think it is too good to be true. There have been enough false ‘breakthroughs’ in the medical field to caution us not to hold our breath until rigorous trials have been done.”
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