Earlier this week a new discovery has lead to scientists believing they are one step closer to curing dementia. A team from the Catholic University of Leuven published their findings in the Stem Cells Reports journal. They were able to repair diseased brain cells taken from patients with a common form of dementia for which their is no cure.
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They identified a gene variant that prevents neurons from forming properly and managed to correct it through genetic engineering. This was an impressive discovery but what was greater is that they could also alter the gene with a compound that inhibited a chemical response for the gene mutation and believe that this finding could be the first step towards a “dementia pill”.
The researchers will now work to better understand what goes wrong in these mutated cells, as well as identify precise molecular targets that could then be used for drug screens.
Currently dementia is one of the most prevalent diseases in developed countries and has one of the biggest impacts on quality of life as we age. Earlier this year it was found by another group of researchers that the five lifestyle factors that affect dementia onset are; getting regular exercise, give up smoking, reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a mediterranean diet and keeping alcohol consumption low.
They believed that by living by these five rules, the annual dementia diagnosis could reduce by up to 80,000.
Finding a cure – as simple as a pill would be incredible. It would bring loved ones back to us and possibly lead to more stable prevention. But, the drug isn’t formulated yet and we don’t know when it will be so the big question is, would you ever consider being a part in the clinical trials?