Two breakthroughs may open path to Alzheimer’s Cure
Two researches in the EU have shed light on Alzheimer’s disease, promising to open a path to a cure.
Spanish scientists revealed that fungal infection may cause Alzheimer’s after they found various fungal species in living and dead patients. The team behind the study, published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, said they found ‘compelling evidence’ that Alzheimer’s patients have this infection in common.
The team, formed by members from the Carlos III University of Madrid and Barcelona’s Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology, reported that the fungal infections have invaded the patient’s central nervous system and that the type of fungal species depends on the severity of the disease.
The presence of fungal species and proteins in patients could mean that fungal infections may cause or is a risk factor of Alzheimer’s.
Meanwhile, German scientists found evidence that caffeine from coffee could help suppress the Tau protein. This protein is considered the first marker of the disease and appears in higher concentrations among Alzheimer’s patients.
Researchers from the BonnUniversity, with the help of France’s LilleUniversity, announced that tests had been successful in lab mice and that they are moving on to bigger animals.
German Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics’ former President Werner Hofmann said the results were ‘promising’ although a cure was ‘still a long way off.’ Meanwhile, researchers Christa Müller (Bonn) and David Blum (Lille) confirmed the findings but cautioned that patience is needed in the next step.
The joint German-French study will soon appear in Neurobiology of Ageing.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia: the progressive loss of memory, reason and ability to learn. It affects the elderly and often leads to death. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, a disease that the World Health Organisation (WHO) said creates 7.7 million new cases per year.
WHO reported that 35.6 million people around the world were living with dementia in 2010.