A type of dementia, Alzheimer's impairs your memory, thinking and behavior. With age, the condition of the patient worsens. Those who suffer from this disease find difficulty remembering recent events of their life. Problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, and motor impairment are anfew of the symptoms of this disease. This chronic neurodegenerative disease is like a dark tunnel, at the other end of which the patient loses the power over his mind, body and soul. The likelihood of suffering from Alzheimer's increases substantially after the age of 70. In the US, there were about 5.5 million Alzheimer's patients in the year 2017. Approximately 200,000 US citizens under the age of 65 have a younger onset of the disease. It has been observed that this disease kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. It is far deadlier than you think it is!
There was no cure for this disease until now. But recently, scientists have come up with a cell therapy which is expected to improve the brain function of the victims of this disease. To function properly, our brain relies on the proper coordination of various elements. If one of those elements goes awry, the entire system collapses. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, damage to specific neurons alters brainwave rhythms and causes a loss of cognitive functions. One kind of neuron, called the Inhibitory interneuron, manages our brain rhythms. It is the research focus of of Dr. Jorge Palop and his team. Dr. Palop works as an assistant investigator at the Gladstone Institute. In a research paper published in Neuron, he and his co researchers unraveled the therapeutic benefits of genetically modifying these interneurons and transplanting them into the brain of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Interneurons control complex network between neurons and allows them to send signals to one another in the right way. Inhibitory Interneurons create rhythms in the brain to regulate excitatory neurons. A lack of coordination between these kinds of neurons causes Alzheimer's disease and other neurological and psychiatric disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism.
To improve the function of inhibitory interneurons, Dr. Palop and his team have found a way to reengineer them. They have demonstrated that these enhanced interneurons, when transplanted into the abnormal brain of Alzheimer's mice, control the activity of excitatory cells properly and reinstate brain rhythms. Dr. Palop said that these optimized neurons can restore the rhythms and harmony required for cognitive functions. He further added that enhancing the function of interneurons can thwart the problems associated with Alzheimer's disease. This finding will surely help medical scientists and college students who are trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's and Dementia. In the near future, Dr. Palop and his team might be successfully able to identify a potential drug that would enhance the function of inhibitory neurons. That would put an end to the sufferings of millions of people who have this degenerative disease. And they would be able to enjoy the company of their near and dear ones for a long time.