There may be good news ahead in terms of finding new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease according to scientists at Trinity College Dublin as they believe they have made a discovery in what causes the chronic illness.
Leading scientists believe their latest discovery could provide them with new information that would ultimately lead to finding new therapies. The illness which is the most common form of dementia globally and affects up to 40,000 people in Ireland still has no effective therapies to date. Scientists say Alzheimer’s disease is characterised, in part, by the build-up of a small protein in the brains of patients, they also believe clearing this protein would help reduce the risk of individuals developing the disease in the future. Although scientists say they may have found the primary contributing factor which causes the illness, they have not developed a way to remove the proteins from peoples bloodstreams.
The research published by scientists at Trinity College claims the discovery is a major step in treating the disease although the methods of removing the proteins still remains highly difficult, they say: “Unlike blood vessels anywhere else in the body, those in the brain have properties that strictly regulate what gets in and out of the delicate tissue – this is what is known as the blood-brain barrier,” we believe “periodic clearance” of the protein across the blood brain barrier could lead to new treatments. “The next steps are to consider how this might be achieved.”