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What Triggers Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that affects millions of seniors worldwide. Though there are many theories about what causes Alzheimer’s, there has been little proof of what triggers the disease because it is somewhat difficult for scientists to study. A new study by researchers at the Lomonosov Moscow State University and King’s College London used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the trigger of Alzheimer’s disease. The following information may help Wallingford Alzheimer’s caregivers understand what these researchers found.

Degeneration Caused by Amyloid Plaques

For several years, scientists have understood that amyloid plaques play a significant role in the brain degeneration that is symptomatic of Alzheimer’s. In a healthy brain, beta-amyloid peptides are a form of protein that protects brain cells, but for people with Alzheimer’s, these proteins join together into clumps that block nerve signals and trigger immune responses that destroy healthy brain cells. Though scientists knew that these plaques harmed the brain, they did not understand why these peptides were transforming into dangerous amyloid clumps.

NMR Shows How Clumps Are Formed

With the NMR technology, the Russian and British researchers were able to see how bonds between molecules were formed. After looking at various forms of beta-amyloid peptides, the researchers zeroed in on an isomerized beta-amyloid peptide. This particular form of peptide occurs randomly as people age and it is the result of a few atoms within the molecule forming in a slightly different arrangement. When these isomerized peptides come into contact with zinc ions, the peptides would bond so rapidly that even the NMR spectroscopy could not see them form. Since both zinc ions and isomerized peptides become more common in the brain as a person ages, this explains why Alzheimer’s generally occurs among seniors. The researchers hope that their scientific discoveries can be used to find and produce a medication that keeps the zinc ions from making isomerized peptides bond.

This discovery may give researchers the lead they need to finally crack the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease. In the meantime, Home Care Assistance of New Haven provides the comprehensive Alzheimer’s senior home care Wallingford seniors need to manage the disease in the familiarity of home. In addition to offering safety monitoring and personal care assistance, our Alzheimer’s caregivers supplement our services with our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method at no additional cost. This revolutionary method helps seniors delay the progression of dementia while exercising cognitive function using a series of brain games and exercises. To learn more about CTM, call us today at (203) 955-1915 and schedule a free in-home consultation.