Health

This new gene therapy can treat Alzheimer’s disease

This new gene therapy can treat Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer’s disease hits people as they age and doctors have not found any cure to treat the disease that affects cognitive functioning and leads to memory loss. Alzheimer’s leads to accumulation of a protein named amyloid-beta in the brain and scientists have found a new gene that might prevent accumulation of this protein.

Alzheimer is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that weakens memory. Initially, it starts slowly but it soon gathers pace and gets worse over time. Symptoms of Alzheimer includes short-term memory loss in initial stages, however as the disease strengthen its grip other problems like problems with language, mood swings, loss of motivation, and behavioural issues occur.

According to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, gene PGC-1-alpha might prevent accumulation of protein amyloid-beta in the brain. The team of researchers conducting the study tested it on mice as they injected modified virus in the brain to supply PGC-1-alpha gene. The gene was injected into the hippocampus and the cortex in brains of mice susceptible to the neurodegenerative disease. Study authors chose this specific region because it is most susceptible to develop plaques in people with Alzheimer’s.

After injecting genes into mice, researchers waited for four months and found that the mice now had fewer amyloid plaques when compared to those who did not receive gene therapy. Study authors are optimistic that the gene therapy will work on humans too, but clinical trials are required to confirm the effect of this therapy in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

“Although these findings are very early they suggest this gene therapy may have potential therapeutic use for patients,” said Magdalena Sastre, senior author of the study and a senior lecturer in Imperial’s department of medicine, in the statement. “There are many hurdles to overcome, and at the moment the only way to deliver the gene is via an injection directly into the brain. However this proof of concept study shows this approach warrants further investigation.”

Since there isn’t any medicine to cure the memory-weakening disease, here are results of some previous studies which can help in preventing the effect of the disease to some extent.

Get proper sleep, this includes sleeping on proper schedule. Always prefer healthy and hygienic food with some good amount of exercises. Stay socially active this reduces impact on brain and keeps a person engaged. Avoid smoking and take care of mental health.

 A previous study found that three cups of milk daily keeps brain healthy in older age as it increases the levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant present in the brain.

Consuming a handful of walnuts a day can improve your memory and cognitive functions, says a new study by UCLA. Consuming a handful of walnuts a day can improve your memory and cognitive functions, says a new study by UCLA.

Moreover, if you are from O blood group then you are definitely at advantage, as it was found that due to presence of more grey matter in the brain people with O blood group are resistant towards the Alzheimer when compared with other blood groups.

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