Studies

Some Elderly People Are Showing Resistance to Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer's Disease Research Shows Some Elderly People Are 'Resistant' To Memory Loss Despite Disease

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. However, an Alzheimer’s disease research shows that some people might be resistant to losing their memory as part of the symptoms of the chronic neurodegenerative disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease Research: No Memory Loss?

A study by researchers at Northwestern University was conducted with eight elderly participants, all above 90 years old. They were picked as they showed great memory capacity and cognitive ability.

The researchers, led by neurologist Changiz Geula, examined the brain of the participants after they died. In the findings, the brains of the three, out of eight, participants showed amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that are commonly present in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The plaques and tangles were found in the brain’s region that is linked to speech, memory, and emotion.

Moreover, the hippocampus, the region responsible for our brain’s memory formation, is seen to remain intact despite the signs of AD. This shows the possibility of how some elderly people may exhibit a superior brain function despite developing the common signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Signature Symptoms of AD

Alzheimer's disease symptoms GIF

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. (Source: Giphy)

Memory loss is always associated with Alzheimer’s. A couple of Hollywood movies have even shown us that. In fact, the difficulty of retrieving recent events is one of the earliest symptoms observed for patients with AD.

Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, the chronic neurodegenerative disease worsens over time with the patient later on developing difficulties in language and focus. Having mood swings and a change in behavior is observed too.

Proteins that clump together form into sticky plaques which are called amyloid plaques and tangles are found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

More Study Needed

While the study of Geula and his team showed remarkable findings, the sample size is low, which demonstrates its limitations. That is why the researchers are underway of conducting a larger scale sample size as the research also needs to be peer-reviewed.

Even though the study met some skepticisms, continued efforts of understanding the disease more is relevant for finding new treatment options. Recently, a drug was even developed to “switch off” the aggregation of amyloid plaques.

However, it is still underway for the Phase 3 trial. Ultimately, an Alzheimer’s disease research is helpful in paving a way to the improvement of millions of lives for people suffering the mental decline.

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