Scientists Follow Unlikely Research For Alzheimer’s Cure

By Kaitlin Armstrong

Staff Writer

An experimental treatment completely reversed Alzheimer’s disease in mice by reducing the levels of a single enzyme in the animals’ brains. As noted by Newsweek, they tested mice that were bred to develop Alzheimer’s and produce less of the BACE1 enzyme as they grew older.

This enzyme was a crucial removal. According to the study, these mice should have developed Alzheimer’s disease, but without BACE1, they did not. The mice aged normally and healthy.

“Alzheimer’s is a scary disease that has affected so many families and alters a person’s personality,” said Tara Lunsford, sophomore. “This study really gives hope that the new generation will not have to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease once we get older.”

Researchers found that reducing the BACE1 levels prevented Alzheimer’s disease in mice and reversed the disease in other animals that had started to show early signs of the disease. The offspring of the tested mice were concluded to not show any plaques in their brain.

“Alzheimer’s disease is something that I think about happening to me in the future because so many people I know have families that are affected by this disease,” said Megan Selfridge, junior. “These studies may sound inefficient because they are testing on mice but this could lead to a bigger study that can be done on humans in the future.”

Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Newsweek that the results were promising and added further evidence that BACE1 inhibitor could be an effective Alzheimer’s treatment. Isaacson has also said that 99 percent of all clinical drug trials have failed and there is not a reason why.

Although results for this study are providing positive research it is important to remember that mice are very different in comparison to humans therefore, we should always keep an open mind to the positives and negatives of the research.

“I hope that these tests on mice will develop into something bigger for humans,” said Katie Tiell, senior. “This study makes me excited for a future without Alzheimer’s disease.”

While this study is mainly focused on mice at the moment, this is a sign of hope for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. This study could further develop to test on larger animals and soon leading to tests on humans to find this cure.

Kaitlin Armstrong

Kaitlin Armstrong is a senior studying communications and emerging media. Originally from Atlanta, Ga., she shadowed the Atlanta Falcons’ community relations department in 2016. Armstrong hopes to use that experience to gain additional internships.

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