Some regard the study of the brain as the final frontier of discovery. Research into the causes, the treatment, and the ability to predict Alzheimer’s continue at a frenzied pace.
At the University of Florida, researchers took peanut butter and tested the distance at which patients could smell it from each nostril. They found that Alzheimer’s patients could not smell the peanut butter from their left nostril. The why isn’t known, but the test holds out the possibility of being an inexpensive predictor of Alzheimer’s.
“There’s a lot of research being done but we still haven’t come up with the keys to Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Jonathan Garza, chief of Neurology at Kelsey Seybold. “Heredity plays a small role; about .1% to .5% is actually hereditary and localized to three genes that we know of. There is another type of genetic variant that seems to increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.”
A team of British researchers have reported ground-breaking research on mice that appear to not only halt the degeneration of cells but reverse the effect of Alzheimer’s. Mice that were treated with the compound they developed remained free of memory loss and lived longer than mice that were not treated. The researchers stress that they are years from developing human trials.
Research continues at breathtaking speed, though not fast enough for some. The latest developments on research, treatments, and local resources can be found at alz.org.