There are more than 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is no Alzheimer’s cure at this time. That being said, exciting new research has many people believing that treatment, a detection method, and a vaccine may be on the horizon.
Progress Towards an Alzheimer’s Cure
Most recently, West Virginia University researchers at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute may have found the root cause of the disease as well as a way to treat the symptoms.
Co-author of the study, Dr. Daniel Alkon, said, “Alzheimer’s disease is not primarily a disease of plaques and tangles, as many had previously concluded.” He added, “It is most importantly a disease of synapses.”
By focusing on synapses loss, researchers believe they may have found a way to stop the development of tangles and plaques that lead to Alzheimer’s disease as well as other types of dementia.
Through the study, it was found that Bryostatin preserves existing synapses while promoting the growth of new synapses.
In a big development, the Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute has received approval to test Bryostatin as a treatment for the disease. Along with this, researchers are also putting a lot of time into the development of a skin test that could detect the disease in its earliest stages.
With early detection and a vaccine to stop degeneration, an Alzheimer’s cure is a possibility. While there are no guarantees, research and clinical testing will continue throughout 2011. Researchers are working as quickly as possible to ensure that any positive results make their way to patients sooner rather than later.