Researchers Isolate the Molecular Roots of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Stacy Lee, 9:00 am on
Isolating Alzheimer's Molecular Roots in Burlington, VT

Scientists continue to research a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Burlington, VT, senior care professionals want to share the findings of a publication on Alzheimer’s by the Washington University School of Medicine. According to experts at this renowned institution of higher education in St. Louis, Missouri, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by TREM2. The molecular structure of this protein can be affected by genetic mutations that seem to occur spontaneously. Therefore, there is speculation Alzheimer’s disease may have a hereditary component. 

TREM2 makes up the outer layers of microglia cells, which are naturally found in the brain and spine. These cells are responsible for removing various types of harmful accumulations in the central nervous system. Microglia can trap and break down toxic amino acids such as amyloid beta. Excessive amounts of such amino acids significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid beta is essentially a plaque that clogs up certain parts of the brain. Consequently, electrical signals cannot properly travel through small channels that are blocked by these amino acids. Memory loss can be directly caused by inefficient flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. Without a sufficient level of microglia cells, the central nervous system deteriorates. TREM2 has the potential to boost the performance of these important cells, which cannot be regenerated. Stem cells cannot be successfully transformed into nerve cells that carry out normal functions.

Now that scientists partially understand the molecular nature of Alzheimer’s disease, the next steps could focus on manipulating TREM2 and other similar proteins. Perhaps a new biotechnology might emerge to give medical experts the tools to alter the structure of TREM2. At the same time, it is critical to reduce and eliminate harmful substances from the brain such as amyloid beta. In addition to treating dementia, TREM2 might be effective at slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s and would like more information on medical breakthroughs related to this condition, get in touch with Home Care Assistance. We provide specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s home care. Burlington seniors and their families can benefit from our flexible care plans, which can help your senior loved one age in the comfort of his or her home. Call (802) 231-0415 to speak to a qualified Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.

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