HomeLifestyleAlzheimer's may not be primarily a brain disease. A new theory...

Alzheimer’s may not be primarily a brain disease. A new theory suggests it’s an autoimmune condition

finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease In recent years it is becoming an increasingly competitive and controversial search with many significant controversies.

In July 2022, the journal Science reported that a major 2006 paper published in the prestigious journal Nature, which identified a subtype of brain protein called beta-amyloid as a cause of Alzheimer’s, may be based on fabricated data. .

A year ago, in June 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration approved aducanumab Antibodies-Targeting beta-amyloid as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, even though the data supporting its use were incomplete and conflicting. Some physicians believe that aducanumab should never have been approved, while others say it should be given a chance.

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With millions of people needing an effective treatment, why are researchers still faltering in this quest, which is arguably the case? one of the most important diseases Mankind’s encounter?

Avoiding the Beta-Amyloid Root

For years, scientists have been focusing on trying to come up with new treatments for Alzheimer’s By stopping the formation of brain-damaging clumps of this mysterious protein called beta-amyloid. In fact, we scientists have arguably thrown ourselves into an intellectual rut, focusing almost exclusively on this approach, often ignoring or ignoring other possible explanations.

Sadly, this dedication to studying abnormal protein clumps has not translated into a useful drug or therapy. The need for a new “out-of-the-clump” way of thinking about Alzheimer’s is emerging as a top priority in brain science.

My lab at the Crembill Brain Institute, part of the University Health Network in Toronto, is working out a new theory of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on our last 30 years of research, we no longer think of Alzheimer’s as primarily a disease of the brain. Rather, we believe that Alzheimer’s is primarily a disorder of? immune system within the brain.

The immune system, found in every organ of the body, is a collection of cells and molecules that work in harmony to help repair Sports injuries and protect from alien invaders. When a person trips and falls, the immune system helps repair damaged tissue. When someone experiences a viral or bacterial infection, the immune system helps in the fight against these microbial invaders.

Exactly the same processes exist in the brain. When a head trauma occurs, the brain’s immune system kicks into gear to help repair it. When bacteria are present in the brain, the immune system is there to fight 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 should be there. When Brain Beta-amyloid is an important contributor to the broader immune response of the brain when trauma occurs or when bacteria are present in the brain. And this is where the problem starts.

Alzheimer's Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis that requires innovative ideas and new directions. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Because of the striking similarity between the fat molecules that make up the bacterial membrane and the membranes of brain cells, beta-amyloid cannot tell the difference between the invading bacteria and the host. Brain cells, and mistakenly attacks brain cells it is supposed to be protected from.

This leads to a chronic, progressive loss of brain cell function, which eventually culminates in dementia—all because our body’s immune system cannot differentiate between bacteria and brain cells.

When perceived by the brain as a misdirected attack immune system Alzheimer’s disease emerges as an autoimmune disease on the same organ it is supposed to protect. There are several 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 treatments may be effective. But these treatments will not work against Alzheimer’s disease.

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

Although drugs traditionally used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases may not work against Alzheimer’s, we strongly believe that targeting other immune-regulating pathways in the brain will lead us to new and effective treatment approaches. Disease,

Other theories of disease

In addition to this autoimmune theory of Alzheimer’s, many other new and diverse theories are beginning to emerge. For example, some scientists believe that Alzheimer’s is a disease of tiny cellular structures called mitochondria – the energy factories in each brain cell. convert mitochondria oxygen The air we breathe and the glucose from the food we eat turn into the energy we need to remember and think.

Some say it is the end result of a particular brain infection, with bacteria from the mouth often suggested as the culprit. Still others suggest that the disease may arise from abnormal conduction of metals within the brain, possibly zinc, copper or Iron,

It is heartening to see new thinking about this age-old disease. Dementia currently affects more than 50 million people worldwide, with a new diagnosis being made every three seconds. Often, people with Alzheimer’s disease do not recognize their own children or even their spouses over the age of 50.

Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis that requires innovative ideas and new directions. for the well-being of people and families living with dementia, and the socioeconomic impact on our already stressed health care system that faces ever-increasing costs and demands MadnessWe need a better understanding of Alzheimer’s, its causes, and what we can do to treat it and help the people and families living with it.

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