New Trends and Research
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is important to possibly with a medication to relieve the symptoms and to slow the progression of the disease. The treatment is done very early, so can the quality of life for longer. In the field of imaging examination methods (MRI) is the center of smell are examined in order to identify early changes in the brain. Additionally, the retina can be examined in order to detect signs of Alzheimer's disease in a particular eye-testing. This research facilities are located partially in the research or only a very local and limited personnel and patient circuit accessible. Often these new diagnostic possibilities are also still on animals instead and will later be transferred to humans.
The retina is part of the brain and its state. Thus, it is possible to detect changes in the brain by the Alzheimer's disease at a very early stage. A new technique which has been developed at University College London scientists is examined in real time of cell death on the retina. As can be determined, as the health of the brain is based on the speed and the number of dying cells.
This method is only been observed in laboratory studies in rats and mice. The hope is that these findings are to be transmitted to humans. So would be desirable to detect very early with this diagnosis Alzheimer's, much earlier than the conventional diagnostic procedures.
The scientists expect that the diagnosis of the retina could soon be transmitted to humans.
1.2 New MRI scanner detects dementia earlier
In Rostock a new MRI scanner of people with forgetfulness first symptoms was put into operation in 2009, studied at an early stage dementia disease. In the first study changes in certain regions can be found in the brain. The MRI is one of the most modern MRI scanners in Germany (as of 2009) and is located in the center of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Rostock.
1.3 early detection "biomarkers" test
Another diagnostic method of the research is to test the nerves water on three specific proteins. The cerebrospinal fluid is obtained by puncturing the spinal cord and subsequently tested in certain forms of protein that may indicate the onset of Alzheimer's disease. These biomarkers are one of the Tau protein component that is part of the cytoskeleton, and beta-amyloid, which is a protein fragment and is deposited in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
At least 83 percent of future Alzheimer's patients could be tested using the test on biomarkers. However, this diagnostic procedure is still in the research because there is not always an occurrence of biomarkers provide a dementia same time.
1.4 of the odor diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease Center
It was found that in patients with Alzheimer's disease and the sense of smell fades, because the smell takes care center in the brain. Here, the olfactory bulb already shrinking at an early stage of the disease. The olfactory bulb is part of the brain and thus provides information about the change. In Alzheimer's disease is shrinking by the dying nerve cells, the volume of the brain.
In a study by the University Clinic Heidelberg patients were examined using an MRI scanner. They had memory problems and were compared as compared to healthy subjects. The olfactory bulb was significantly reduced, especially clear difference was seen in patients who have Alzheimer's disease has been diagnosed.
Again, the desirability of using this diagnostic method to detect early Alzheimer's disease.
2. Vaccination and "cure" for Alzheimer's disease
There are high hopes in the vaccination against the disease or the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Smaller successes can be observed in animal experiments, both at the vaccination, as well as in the healing. The scientists hope is to transfer this success to the treatment in humans.
2.1 vaccinations with antibodies
The approach to vaccination is that patients beta-amyloid is injected. It is quite similar to that molecule, the morbidly accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The immune system of the patient to be stimulated so that it removes the disease-causing amyloid from the brain.
This seeding method was tested on Alzheimer's patients. Unfortunately, severe side effects developed in some patients, the studies were canceled.
Nevertheless, it was shown that in the vaccinated patients experienced a mental breakdown had slowed. The degree of intellectual degradation was lower, the more antibodies they had formed. But there was still further setbacks for the scientists. Although the amyloid could be removed by this method from the brain, the patients were still become accordingly.
In the course of the research it was found that mentally very fit people in extreme old age had endogenous antibodies against beta-amyloid. These antibodies were tested on Alzheimer's mice were protected against Alzheimer's through it. The hope is that these types of antibodies other Alzheimer's patients can help.
2.2 "healing" of Alzheimer's disease by electromagnetic radiation - in mice
A surprising discovery for Alzheimer's disease was discovered in animal experiments. It was found that Alzheimer features reduced by the radiation from mobile phones are in diseased mice. The surprising result, discovered by scientists from the University of South Florida in Tampa, was that mobile phone radiation protects mice against Alzheimer's.
In the tests have been genetically modified mice whose brains contain beta-amyloid deposits, exposed to electromagnetic radiation. The radiation corresponded approximately to the same radiation to which people are exposed to on the phone with cell phone.
In young mice, which were not ill, no deposits formed in the brain in older animals with Alzheimer's is their cognitive performance improved to the extent that they are as good sections on tests, such as the young, healthy mice. The researchers suspect that'll excited by the radiation, the activity of brain cells.
Whether these findings will be transferable to humans is open. Maybe it can result in a new, effective Alzheimer's treatment.
3. Causes of Alzheimer's
3.1 Risk Gene
As a cause of Alzheimer disease genetic factors are named. This is a form of risk genes, which lead to the disease outbreak.
So far, eight genes with Alzheimer's disease have been associated. They are made mainly responsible for the formation of beta-amyloid deposits.
We distinguish between two forms of Alzheimer's disease. The rare familial disease occupies about 5 percent of cases, the more common form of Alzheimer's disease is called sporadic Alzheimer's disease. Since in addition there is a large difference in the patient's age, when the disease breaks out, these two forms are also called as early onset (before age 65) and late-onset Alzheimer's disease (65 years and older).
In the early-onset form of the disease is hereditary. Until now, three genes were identified for: presenilin 1 and 2 and the amyloid precursor protein. Lying defects in the former two genes are present, the disease will break out with absolute certainty at an early age.
In the late-onset form of Alzheimer forming part of the risk is at least to assign genetic factors. Until now, only the apolipoprotein as a genetic factor was known, which is responsible for fat metabolism of the brain. About 15% of the population are carriers of this protein on chromosome 19. The occurrence leads to an increased risk increased age. 60% of patients with Alzheimer's disease are carriers of the gene.
Later, another gene was discovered, showing an increased risk for onset of the disease: SORL-1. It is responsible for the transport of the amyloid precursor protein in several regions of the brain cells. In case of defective SORL-1 proteins, amyloid precursor proteins accumulate in other areas of the brain cells and form to amyloid deposits.
More recently (in 2009) could further three genes have been identified: clusterin, PICALM and CR-1. The latter is responsible for inflammation, clusterin and PICALM are for the function of nerve cells and the metabolism of proteins, which are deposited in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers. Thus, the metabolism of protein substances in the brain is adversely affected.
4. Alzheimer's and cancer are mutually exclusive
In research, a two-way link between cancer and Alzheimer's disease is discussed. So ill people in whom cancer was diagnosed, flashy little Alzheimer's. Scientists at the University of Göttingen found that the Alzheimer's protein "amyloid precursor protein" may be responsible for cancer or Alzheimer's. If cleaves the protein, the result is either a protective, cytoprotective peptide sAPPalpha, or a toxic, cell-destructive Abeta peptide.
For tumors former is responsible for its growth-promoting function; it protects and supports the cancer cells. In Alzheimer's disease is exactly the opposite is true: it outweighs the toxic function of the peptide, the cells are damaged.
The scientists reported in patients with cancer in the colon or in the pancreas increased amyloid precursor protein content after. In cancer treatment, the toxic products of the protein are reduced by inhibitors. Thus, tumor growth can be greatly reduced.