Alzheimer's study finds possible cause of disease
A study using mice has uncovered a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and suggests that a drug currently being investigated in human clinical trials to treat cancer could prevent the illness.
The research has been heralded as offering hope of finding new treatments for dementia.
The findings, by Duke University in America and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, are surprising, according to one of the authors, as they contradict current thinking on the disease.
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The research suggests that in mice with Alzheimer’s disease certain immune cells that normally protect the brain begin abnormally to consume an important nutrient called arginine.
By blocking this process using the drug difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), memory loss and a buildup of sticky proteins known as brain plaques were prevented.