Summary: Rather than just being a brain disease, researchers say Alzheimer’s disease may be a problem with the immune system in the brain.

Source: The conversation

The search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease has become a competitive and controversial quest in recent years, with several important controversies.

In July 2022 Science Magazine A key reported A 2006 research paper, published in the famous journal NatureA subtype of the brain protein called beta-amyloid, which causes Alzheimer’s, may be based on the resulting data.

A year ago, in June 2021, The US Food and Drug Administration had approved aducanumab.Antibody-targeting beta-amyloid, as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, although data supporting its use are incomplete and conflicting. Some physicians believe that aducanumab should never have been approved, while others believe that it should be given a chance.

With millions of people in need of effective treatment, why are researchers still scrambling to find a cure for one of the most important diseases facing humanity?

Escape from beta-amyloid rut

For years, scientists have been trying to come up with new treatments for Alzheimer’s. By preventing the formation of brain-damaging clusters of this secreted protein It is called beta-amyloid. In fact, we scientists have gotten ourselves into a bit of an epistemological dilemma by focusing solely on this approach, often ignoring or even ignoring other possible explanations.

Unfortunately, this effort to study abnormal protein clusters has not translated into useful medicine or treatment. The need for a new “useless” way of thinking about Alzheimer’s is emerging as a top priority in brain science.

My laboratory at the Krembill Brain Institute, part of the University Health Network in Toronto, A. A new theory of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on our research over the past 30 years, we no longer think of Alzheimer’s as primarily a brain disease. Rather, we believe it is primarily Alzheimer’s. Disorders of the immune system in the brain.

The immune system, found in every part of the body, is a collection of cells and molecules that help repair damage and defend against foreign invaders. When a person walks and falls, the immune system helps repair damaged tissue. When a person has a viral or bacterial infection, the immune system helps in the fight against these microbial invaders.

Exactly the same processes are found in the brain. When a head injury occurs, the brain’s immune system kicks into gear to help repair it. When bacteria are found in the brain, the immune system fights back.

Alzheimer’s as an autoimmune disease

We believe that beta-amyloid is not an abnormally produced protein, but a normally occurring molecule that is part of the brain’s immune system. It’s supposed to be there. When brain damage occurs or when bacteria are present in the brain, beta-amyloid is a key contributor to the brain’s overall immune response. And this is where the problem begins.

Because of the similarity between the lipid molecules on both the bacterial membrane and the membrane of brain cells, beta-amyloid cannot distinguish between bacterial invaders and brain cells and mistakenly attacks brain cells. Protection.

This leads to chronic, progressive loss of brain cell function, which eventually leads to dementia – all because our immune system can’t tell the difference between bacteria and brain cells.

Alzheimer’s becomes an autoimmune disease when the brain’s immune system is misdirected against the body it is supposed to protect. There are many types of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which autoantibodies play an important role in the development of the disease and for which steroid-based therapies are effective. But these treatments do not work on Alzheimer’s disease.

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This shows the pattern in the study
This shows the brain
Based on our research over the past 30 years, we no longer think of Alzheimer’s as primarily a brain disease. Image is in public domain.

The brain is a very unique and unique organ. The most complex structure in the universe. In our Alzheimer’s model, we believe that beta-amyloid helps protect and strengthen our immune system, but unfortunately, it also plays a central role in the auto-mood process, which can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Although drugs commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases may not work against Alzheimer’s, we believe that targeting other immune regulatory pathways in the brain may lead to new and effective treatments for the disease.

Other theories of the disease

In addition to this autoimmune theory of Alzheimer’s disease, many other new and different theories are emerging. For example, some scientists believe Alzheimer’s is a disease of tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. – Energy factories in each brain cell. Mitochondria convert oxygen from the air we breathe and glucose from the food we eat into the energy needed for memory and thinking.

Some believe that this is the final result Especially brain infectionwith Oral bacteria are often suggested as the culprit. Others, the disease from A Abnormal handling of metals in the brainIt may be zinc, copper or iron.

It’s fun to watch. So a new way of thinking about the age-old disease. Dementia currently affects more than 50 million people worldwide, with a new diagnosis every three seconds. Often, people with Alzheimer’s disease do not recognize their own children or even their spouses who are over 50 years old.

Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis that needs new ideas and fresh directions. Learn about Alzheimer’s, its causes, and what we can do to help treat it and help people and families living with it to address the ever-increasing costs and demands of dementia, for the well-being of people and families with dementia, and the socioeconomic impact on our strained health care system.

So Alzheimer’s disease research news

Author: Donald Weaver
Source: The conversation
Contact: Donald Weaver – The Conversation
Image: The image is in the public domain.

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