Brain cell discovery 'could lead to dementia treatments'

Brain cell discovery 'could lead to dementia treatments'

New research from the US has discovered which parts of the human brain cell are lost to dementia first.

It is the cell's mitochondria - the small components that generate the chemical energy used by the cell - which are the first elements to be lost to the spread of dementia, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Scientists from the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center now believe that using drug known to restore mitochondrial function could be used to treat early-stage dementia.

"Our new findings, along with previous research, suggest that mitochondrial changes harm the synapses, and that we may be able to slow down Alzheimer's at a very early stage by improving mitochondrial function," said lead investigator Shidu Yan.

A study by the National Association of Care Catering recently established that malnutrition among people with dementia can lead to a deterioration of their condition.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.