Dementia, and particularly dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, is becoming a lot more common as the years go by. Unlike many diseases, Alzheimer’s is a collection of conditions with no cure, no known cause and it has a massive impact the people closest to the patient. If you have a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s then you’ll know exactly how devastating can be – it’s almost as if you’re losing your loved one right in front of your eyes. Scientists all over the world have been researching this condition – trying to understand it and find a cure. Now they may have made a vital breakthrough.
According to studies performed on lab mice, a certain gene might be responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s. It’s called EP2 and it prevents microglia (a type of protein found in the brain) from removing viruses, bacteria and other nasties in the brain. Think of your brain as a messy room, EP2 as a locked door and microglia as a cleaner who’s locked out of your room and unable to clean it.
When the scientists blocked or removed the gene from the test mice, their memory problems reversed and other Alzheimer’s-related symptoms disappeared.
This is huge step in finding a cure, or at least a treatment, for a disease that affects millions of people all over the world.