For many years, researchers around the globe have been looking at ways of curing and preventing Alzheimer’s disease, but a recent report suggests that scientists think they’re onto a winner with their new findings.
Back in July, Australian researchers discovered that high levels of iron in the brain could be the key to discovering the early onsets of detecting Alzheimer’s disease in patients.
According to the research by CSIRO, a device similar to a metal detector could be used to pick up unusually high levels of amyloid and iron on the brain.
Now a new report by Bloomberg suggests that iron holds the key to predicting when and if a person will get Alzheimer’s disease.
The new study is set to begin within weeks and will look at the 23-year-old medicine that 171 patients with the early stages Alzheimer’s currently take.
It is hoped that the year-long trail will find a new treatment for the memory-loss disease, which currently impacts 342,000 people in Australia and 44 million globally.
Michael Woodward, a geriatrician and principal investigator of the study at Melbourne’s Austin Health explained to Bloomberg that he thinks the new focus could result in a drug that helps many people living with the condition.
“The feeling of all of us is that we are on a winner,” he said.
As it stands, research suggests that people with higher levels of iron in their brains deteriorate faster than patients with lower levels.
The new drug is expected to work by fusing itself to the iron on the brain and pulling it away from the tissues on the brain.
Bloomberg explains this process could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to three years in people who are in the earliest stages of the disease.
The new research comes after Canadian doctors initially found success in the 1980s when they trialled a similar drug.
While that research was halted to focus on amyloid research, recent results have suggested that more research needs to be given to iron’s role in Alzheimer’s disease.