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Major Causes of Alzheimer’s Discovered

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Major Causes of Alzheimer’s Discovered

September 27
14:29 2017

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60% to 80% of all dementia cases. It is a slow progressive disease that often starts with memory lapses and then memory loss. Over time, memory loss and many other mental functions are affected. In time, the effects of Alzheimer’s interfere with most of the daily routine functions to the point of becoming completely non-functional and death. The life expectancy of someone from the time they are diagnosed runs anywhere from 4 to 20 years, but the average is 8-10 years. Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association lists 10 early signs and symptoms:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgement
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

Since Alzheimer’s affects so many people, especially older people, researchers have been working to identify the cause of Alzheimer’s. The effort to discover the cause was intensified when one of the greatest presidents in United States history, Ronald Reagan, suffered from the terrible disease and died at the age of 93.

Over the past decade, the probable cause of Alzheimer’s was thought to be associated with a build of plaque around brain cells and what scientists referred to as ‘tangles’ within the neurons (brain cells). Careful examination of the brains of victims of Alzheimer’s have showed signs of both of these conditions, but the exact cause of the plaque and tangles has been a mystery.

In order to find a cure for such a deadly disease, researchers first have to find the cause. At times, we heard it might be associated with aluminum leaching into canned beverages, but that was eventually dismissed. Others associated Alzheimer’s with certain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, but that has never been proven either.

A new report may be the huge breakthrough everyone has been waiting for as a worldwide group of researchers believe they have identified the causes of Alzheimer’s. If they are correct, then they can begin to find a way to develop a cure or at least something that could stave off some of the damaging effects of the disease, improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s victims or extending their lives by years.

“A worldwide team of senior scientists and clinicians have come together to produce an editorial which indicates that certain microbes – a specific virus and two specific types of bacteria – are major causes of Alzheimer’s Disease. Their paper, which has been published online in the highly regarded peer-reviewed journal, <i>Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease</i>, stresses the urgent need for further research – and more importantly, for clinical trials of anti-microbial and related agents to treat the disease.”

“This major call for action is based on substantial published evidence into Alzheimer’s. The team’s landmark editorial summarises the abundant data implicating these microbes, but until now this work has been largely ignored or dismissed as controversial – despite the absence of evidence to the contrary. Therefore, proposals for the funding of clinical trials have been refused, despite the fact that over 400 unsuccessful clinical trials for Alzheimer’s based on other concepts were carried out over a recent 10-year period.”

The study quickly came under condemnation and skepticism by some, however, it should be pointed out that when researchers first suggested that stomach ulcers and some forms of cancers were caused by bacteria or viruses, those reports received the same criticism until they were proven to be factual.

Professor Douglas Kell, with The University of Manchester’s School of Chemistry and Manchester Institute of Biotechnology said there is an association with iron, found in all red blood cells, and the microbes suspected as causing Alzheimer’s. He explained:

“We are saying there is incontrovertible evidence that Alzheimer’s Disease has a dormant microbial component, and that this can be woken up by iron dysregulation. Removing this iron will slow down or prevent cognitive degeneration – we can’t keep ignoring all of the evidence.”

If proven to be true, this could have an impact on blood transfusions, especially those involving the red blood cells.

Professor Resia Pretorius of the University of Pretoria, another one of the researchers commented:

“The microbial presence in blood may also play a fundamental role as causative agent of systemic inflammation, which is a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease – particularly, the bacterial cell wall component and endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide. Furthermore, there is ample evidence that this can cause neuroinflammation and amyloid-β plaque formation.”

This research could well open the door to finding a cure for the most common form of dementia. Further studies need to be done and then clinical trials, so it will probably take a few more years, but least this is a huge giant step forward.

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