A guide to alzheimers and dementia

A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square

A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square…the same applies when comparing the commonly confused syndromes of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

When symptoms arise, either in yourself or someone you care for greatly; such as memory loss, confusion of thought processes and lapse in language or skill sets that used to be innate, one begins to worry and ask, could this be Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease?

It is important to understand the paradox, “A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square” when considering these two syndromes. Dementia is the broad term under which AD falls, but Dementia is not Alzheimer’s. They are both difficult to discern and distinguish; they share many symptoms and are equally difficult to manage. But, one should not give up hope or panic, many medications can assist with slowing the progression of the disease and manage symptoms, as well as ample therapy and support options available. Harley Street Care can be one of your greatest resources, not only in making sure you have enough information, referrals to the right doctors and quality care but also in providing the mental support that is vital throughout all stages of these syndromes.

Here we will take a small snapshot of AD and see how new discoveries are giving hope to treatments and perhaps a cure.

There are two occurrences in the brain that eventually cause the symptoms of AD; they are plaques and tangles. Both of these things, simply by reading their names, are quite easy to grasp as to why they cause the slowing down of brain processes, just like tangles in the hair or plaques in your teeth. What we have not known until recently is why these plaques and tangles occur.

Australian scientists have discovered a protein they call kinase p38γ that disappear in the brain as Alzheimer’s progresses. The loss of this protein is what diminishes the protection in the brain and thus leads to the production of these plaques and tangles. When these scientists reintroduced the protein into the brains’ of mice, protective mechanisms manifested, fighting against memory deficits and other associated symptoms.

“This study has completely changed our understanding of what happens in the brain during the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author, University of South Wales Professor, Lars Ittner.

“Part of our study involved reintroducing p38γ and increasing its activity. We saw that, in mice, it could prevent memory deficits from happening, so it has true therapeutic potential. If we can stimulate that activity, we may be able to delay or even halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

This is a significant breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research and in understanding the brain processes in similar syndromes. We hope the next logical step for researchers is to develop their patented discovery into a viable treatment for humans.

As with any disease or illness, we always suggest seeking the best care one can find, of which Harley Street Care is second to none. It is also important to stay up to date on new research and therapy so as not to lose hope. One organisation that provides a wealth of information and resources on this subject is the Unforgettable Foundation (https://www.unforgettable.org/). Check out their website to find out more. Stay educated and active.


Image courtesy of Unforgettable Foundation