The Independent reports on Duke University researchers who think they’ve figured out how Alzheimer’s happens… and how to stop it:
Researchers at Duke announced that their studies of Alzheimer’s in mice had thrown up a new process they believe contributes to the disease’s development.
They observed that in Alzheimer’s, immune cells that normally protect the brain instead begin to consume a vital nutrient called arginine.
By blocking this process with a drug, they were able to prevent the formation of ‘plaques’ in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, and also halted memory loss in the mice.
The drug that was used to block the body’s immune response to arginine – known as difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) – is already being investigated in drug trials for certain types of cancer and may be suitable for testing as a potential Alzheimer’s therapy.