One thing leads to another, as popular science keeps on telling us. Thus, a new study has revealed that a particular treatment addressed to those who have had organ transplants, taken to prevent organ rejection, protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s can be efficiently treated, according to recent data analyzed from medical records belonging to 2.644 US patients who received organs from donors.
This drug plays with oblivion behaviors on humans, as it suppresses the immune system to reject the foreign organ. Apparently it goes further than that, preventing the development of one of the most degrading neural diseases of our modern times. Patients who benefitted from the transplant medication showed much lower rates of developing dementia, compared to the general population.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most widespread common age-associated neurodegenerative disorder for which no cure has yet been developed. It works and grows with the help of a toxic protein that targets and disrupts the points of communication between brain cells, degrading memory in sufferers. The recently found treatment acts by preventing this kind of toxicity, thus representing an effective treatment strategy in terms of prevention rather than acting upon.
Previous research has shown that blocking calcinerium can restore memory functions. This is however a tricky tactic, as it prevents the onset and progression but suppresses the immune system.
The treatment in transplant procedures is based on calcinerium inhibitors such as Tacrolimus or cyclosporine that must be taken for the rest of a patient’s life. Due to the previous findings in terms of the effects of calcinerium, any evidence of memory impairment or dementia must be monitored for the entire range of patients. Such side effects can limit treatment performance among subjects.
To analyze and debate, researchers have separated patients into groups by age at the time of death or last visit, gender and ethnicity. From the total of 2644 patients, only eight showed evidence of dementia. Two of them were younger than 65, five had ages ranging between 65-77 years and one of them was over 75 years old.
Statistics showed that developing of Alzheimer’s and dementia in patients undergoing transplant treatments are dramatically lower, if not almost absent, compared to national data from general population.
The challenge doctors are facing now is to find a productive way to block calcinerium and offer further benefits to Alzheimer’s patients without weakening their immune system.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t sound that irreversibly bad, as long as there is a strong chance for doctors to develop a strong treatment system that overcomes the dramatic effects of this degrading disease.
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