Top 8 Alzheimer’s Breakthroughs in 2012
Posted by Sherry C. on Monday, December 17th, 2012
2012 has been an exciting year for Alzheimer’s research. A number of studies were published that produced both positive and negative results, but with each study conducted, we come closer to unlocking the secrets of Alzheimer’s disease. We have compiled a list of the top 8 breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research this year.
1. High carbohydrate diets have been linked to Alzheimer’s. A study of 1,230 people by the Mayo Clinic found that those people who ate a high carbohydrate diet were four times more likely to develop Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s.
2. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are experimenting with using pacemakers to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The pacemaker works by stimulating the brain, and doctors are hoping this will help slow or stop the progression of the disease. So far, similar experiments in Canada have resulted in positive outcomes.
3. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine cited that an international team of researchers found a gene that can nearly triple the chance of a person developing Alzheimer’s. It characterized this finding as “…the most potent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s in the past 20 years.”
4. Researchers at the University of Alberta found that a drug used to treat diabetes has been found to help improve and restore memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.
5. A study conducted in Iceland and reported in the journal Nature, found that people who had a specific genetic mutation were able to produce a protein that prevented the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain. They also found that people aged 80-100 with the variation of the gene had better cognitive function than those without the mutation.
6. A team of researchers who published a story in the journal Science found that when used to treat mice suffering from an illness similar to Alzheimer’s, a drug called bexarotene helped to reduce amyloid plaques almost immediately. The drug is currently approved for use to treat a form of skin cancer, but is showing great promise for use on patients with Alzheimer’s.
7. Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine developed a timeline published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July. By conducting in depth research into the progression of the disease in genetically-predisposed people who had one of three genetic mutations known to be related to Alzheimer’s, researchers were able to develop a timeline with characteristics that can point to Alzheimer’s before any noticeable symptoms occur. This may be a key to early detection of the disease.
8. Researchers have found that Alzheimer’s spreads like a virus or infection through the protein tau. Understanding this can help aid further research into how to halt transmission of the disease.
While 2012 wasn’t a year where we can say we found a cure for the disease, many researchers believe we are 3-5 years away from making a significant discovery in the field that will result in putting an end to this terrible disease. In the meantime, it is imperative that we use nutrition to help boost our immune systems and avoid disease.
For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit theadplan.com to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.