Revealing a Potential Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s disease is a serious concern for seniors. Advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for the condition. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles with every five years of age after 65. Currently there’s no cure, and most medicines only treat the symptoms. However, a new study has identified a critical process in the cause of the disease, which may lead to more successful therapies in the future. Here’s what you need to know about this groundbreaking discovery.

 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

 

What Triggers Alzheimer’s?

A joint team of Russian and British researchers at several institutions has uncovered a new function that may cause Alzheimer’s. Scientists have long believed amyloid fragments, a type of protein that bind and build up in the brain, cause the disease. These clumps, called amyloid plaque, grow rapidly either because of something wrong with the proteins or a problem with the natural process that’s supposed to remove them. 

The plaque builds up in the brain and damages the nerves that causes loss of brain function. The new study suggests this improper buildup is caused by the ways these protein fragments interact and bind with zinc ions that are found naturally in the body. They identified two types of amyloid proteins with specific characteristics that, when bonded with zinc ions, built up quickly and were unable to be removed by the body’s natural cleanup mechanism.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. The type of home care Reston seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.

 

What Are the Implications for Seniors?

As seniors are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than any other age group, they stand to benefit the most from this study. Scientists hope to use this information to develop new drugs that can target the interaction between amyloids and zinc and hopefully prevent or cure the disease. While these therapies will likely not be on the market in time to help people currently living with Alzheimer’s, this study does have promising implications for the future.

Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Reston families can rely on the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Assisting Hands Home Care team today.