Latest News » Researchers make groundbreaking discovery in Alzheimer’s prevention

Scientists have discovered a protein in the brain that may combat Alzheimer's disease.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in six older Americans lives with Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer's is characterized by severe memory loss in its later stages, and has been dubbed the defining disease of the Baby Boomer generation. There is no cure for Alzheimer's but researchers are learning more about its mechanisms every day, and there are many promising avenues for intervention currently being investigated. Scientists have been working with natural compounds like curcumin, which has exhibited anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, further research is required to determine if these forms of intervention can help.

Recently, scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery about the nature of Alzheimer's disease and brain health. According to reports, researchers from Harvard University have discovered a specific protein in the brain that may protect aging cells from deteriorating. The protein is called REST, and is present during fetal development.

"[REST] is a universal feature of normal ageing in human cortical and hippocampal neurons. REST is lost, however, in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease," states the study abstract from Nature, a clinical journal. "REST levels during ageing are closely correlated with cognitive preservation and longevity."

REST is related to the brain's stress responses, and the researchers speculate that Alzheimer's disease may be connected to both the build up of amyloid and tau protein and the lack of REST. Though scientists must investigate this aspect of memory support and brain health more to confirm this hypothesis, it could come to influence Alzheimer's treatment and prevention methods going forward.

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