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Has Stanford University found a cure for Alzheimer's disease?

Stashed in: Brain, Awesome, Stanford, Medicine, Alzheimer's, Health, Neuroscience, Memory!, CRISPR

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Could it really be this simple to cure Alzheimer's? If so, these researchers have potentially changed the future.

Yes, it looks like it.  Now to find a way to act on it.  And they have found one of the first solid targets for genetically engineering improved humans.

Blocking EP2 stops memory decline! Seems legit...

Alzheimer's could be prevented and even cured by boosting the brain's own immune response, scientists at Stanford University believe.

Researchers discovered that nerve cells die because cells which are supposed to clear the brain of bacteria, viruses and dangerous deposits, stop working.

These cells, called 'microglia' function well when people are young, but when they age, a single protein called EP2 stops them operating efficiently.

Now scientists have shown that blocking the protein allows the microglia to function normally again so they can hoover up the dangerous sticky amyloid-beta plaques which damage nerve cells in Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers found that, in mice, blocking EP2 with a drug reversed memory loss and myriad other Alzheimer’s-like features in the animals.

Wow, this seems like a huge breakthrough.

Phil Edwards added on my Facebook page:

More stuff about curing Alzheimer's. While CRISPR technology could excise the genes that produce EP2 and so allow the microglia to function at all times (as suggested/hinted in the article), I'm still vary wary about gene editing in humans; it's a very complex system, it's not as robust as we'd like to think.

All the same, as therapies go, this works great. I recall you were big on the "ultrasound to dissolve plaques" therapy pioneered in Australia, and I think in advanced cases you've still need to do something like that, because healthy glia couldn't heal the damage caused fast enough while the brain continued to function and pile up more junk; but if detected early, this is definitely the way to go. Just my thoughts on the subject.


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