While any possibility of a cure for Alzheimer's is several years away, lifestyle choices may affect your risk of contracting it, says Jerome Burne
When some mice were put into a tank of water in a research lab in New York recently, something remarkable happened.
Instead of swimming aimlessly round, they were able to find their way back to an underwater platform that they had visited before.
It was a breakthrough because these mice had been genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer's disease and should have been as slow-witted, confused and forgetful as human sufferers.
They had received a new vaccine that can dissolve a protein, called beta-amaloid, that progressively clogs up neurons in the brain.
As a result, their memory and problem-solving abilities were returning. For the first time since this dreadful disease was first identified more than 100 years ago there is the possibility of a cure on the horizon.
"In before-and-after images from brain scans carried out on the mice it's clear that globs of toxic plaque have almost gone," says neuroscientist and biochemist Dr Menelas Pangalos. "And you can reverse their memory to normal, like a young mouse."
Source - Telegraph