Major step forward in slowing Alzheimer’s


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Alzheimer’s has two main indicators. In one, amyloid proteins form clots that muddle communication between brain cells. In the other, proteins called tau, which normally carry nutrients to brain cells, start to tangle in dying cells and block the flow of nutrients, speeding up cells’ death spiral. Researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University have, for the first time, reversed deadly tau tangles after the disease was firmly established. Using lab mice, they found that molecules called leukotreines, which cause inflammation, are controlled in the Alzheimer victim’s brain and most importantly, in their lungs. After determining the pathway that leukotreines took through affected mouse brains, scientists tried a standard asthma drug to inhibit the leukotreines. (Asthma is about inflammation in the lungs). After 16 weeks of treatment, the form of tau that tangles brain cells was reduced by half. Inflammation had mostly disappeared and synapses, the spaces over which brain cells communicate, appeared normal.

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