Brain diseases can cause symptoms like or even like those of Alzheimer’s disease. The brain is full of mystery. Over the years, science has managed to break through more and more. Researchers at the University of Kentucky in the United States have discovered a new medical condition, the main symptom of which is dementia. In JAMA Neurology, they detail their discovery.
“Many people who are thought to have Alzheimer’s actually do not have Alzheimer’s,” said Erin Abner, professor at the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, who participated in the research. There are other brain diseases that cause the same symptoms as Alzheimer’s. ” With her colleagues, she conducts research on brain health and long-term aging.
In this research, data from the brain autopsy of 375 elderly people were used. The protein TDP-34 has been detected by scientists; it is the “new bad boy of the brain” according to the words of Erin Abner. It can be present in the brain without causing disease, but researchers have found that it can be a cause of dementia. In total, they found an abnormal accumulation of 4 proteins in approximately 19% of patients who suffered from dementia.
“This is not good news, because it means that if we can cure Alzheimer’s disease completely, we will always have to find a solution for TDP-43 and synuclein alpha (another protein that is present abnormal), and they are common in the elderly, “said the researcher.” We still have a lot to learn. ” This study is just one step in their overall work on brain health. The team at this American center hopes to be able to develop a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by degeneration of neurons. 900,000 people suffer from it in France. Today, treatments can relieve some symptoms, but nothing can cure them. With the increase in life expectancy, the number of people affected should increase in the coming years. According to the France Alzheimer’s association, more than 1.8 million French people should be affected by 2050, or 6.2% of the working population.