Researchers Identify the Molecular Roots of Alzheimer’s

By Steve Hanson, 9:00 am on

According to a recent study conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to a complex protein. Rockwall senior care professionals would like to share the details of the study.

In its natural form, TREM2 is a molecule that plays various roles in the human nervous system. When the structure of this enzyme changes, specific parts of the brain might slowly deteriorate. Scientists believe mutations in TREM2 can lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s and other conditions that affect cognitive function and even mobility. 

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have used sophisticated software and hardware to generate 3D renderings of this important protein. Various computer simulations have shown the side effects after TREM2 is altered by natural or unnatural factors. Scientists are particularly interested in understanding what triggers the structural modification of this molecule. It is already known aging increases the risk of degeneration of the brain on a cellular level. Imaging techniques such as MRIs and CAT scans clearly show how Alzheimer’s can lead to physical breakdown of some parts of the brain. However, it’s also important for medical experts to know how nerve cells behave on a molecular level. 

TREM2 cleans up waste products that accumulate in cells. For example, this compound is capable of removing excessive amounts of amyloid beta substances that typically build up in the brains of individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease. When TREM2 isn’t able to do its cleaning tasks, many neurological side effects may gradually develop. The long-term goal for the global medical community is to create a treatment plan that can introduce safe amounts of TREM2 into the brain of a person who has Alzheimer’s. This important enzyme might even be useful for treating other cognitive conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you require assistance while taking care of him or her, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide specialized Alzheimer’s care. Rockwall, TX, seniors can benefit from professional caregivers who can help him or her manage the condition in the comfort of home. Call a compassionate Care Manager at (972) 722-7833 to learn about our Alzheimer’s home care and schedule a free in-home consultation.

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