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Injection of protein IL-33 reverses Alzheimer's symptoms and cognitive decline in mice, restoring memory and cognitive function in a week.

Stashed in: Brain, Awesome, Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's

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One study put successful translation of positive results in mice to humans at a rate of about 8 percent, so we can never get too excited until we see how things fare in human trials. 

But when it comes to a disease with no known cure that’s expected to affect 65 million people by 2030, any new development is worth a look at, and the team behind the discovery reports "encouraging hints" that certain aspects of this study could translate to human Alzheimer's patients.

In humans, Alzheimer’s disease usually results from a build-up of two types of lesions in the brain - amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. 

Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and form dense clusters of a sticky type of protein called beta-amyloid.

Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons, caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential nutrients around the brain. 

Right now, no one knows why certain people experience a build-up of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain as they age, and others don’t, but scientists are confident that if we can figure out how to clear them out and stop them forming, we can effectively treat the disease.

Top Reddit comment:

Interesting. IL33 is a very pleiotropic cytokine secreted by multiple cell types. Seeing this reminded me of some published work showing that high doses of IVIg induce IL33 production. And after doing some googling, turns out that IVIg has been investigated for its ability to slow Alzheimer's progression. Some trials have shown that it does reduce cognitive deficits. IVIg works in a bunch of mysterious ways but I wonder if this IL33 thing is related. Total speculation but interesting nonetheless

Edit: Here is a link to the paper I'm referencing looking at high

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