Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Is There Another Cause of Alzheimer's Disease?

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Scientists doing research at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal have uncovered one of the root causes of Alzheimer's disease.
This information has raised the hopes of having a drug to slow down or cure or the onset of Alzheimer's disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disorder; as reported in the Montreal Gazette
A neuroscientist named Andrea LeBlanc and other scientists working with her have found that an enzyme in the brain that normally plays a role in inflammation will in certain individuals start Alzheimer's disease process. The enzyme is called Caspase-6. It causes an over-production of amyloid beta plaques that clog up the brains of Alzheimer disease victims thus impairing their memories and cognitive abilities.
LeBlanc thinks that an "estrogen-type" drug might be able to stop Caspase-6. This would effectively treat Alzheimer's disease. Right now, the research is in the early stage, It will take at least 10 years to come up with a potential drug.
"If we could slow the progression of the disease for a few years, we would win a big part of the battle," Leblanc said. "What we want to do is keep people cognitively intact for as long as possible."
Until this time, neuroscientists have focused on the "amyloid theory" as the root cause of Alzheimer's disease. However, Leblanc developed another theory: what if the amyloid plaques were not


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