New study maps progression of dementia

New study maps progression of dementia

Scientists in San Francisco claim to have uncovered new information about how Alzheimer's disease spreads through the brain. According to researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, one of the first regions of the brain to be affected by the condition is the entorhinal cortex (EC). Connections between this area and the hippocampus are essential for memory. From here, the spread of mutated proteins travels through networks of neurons, spreading to other parts of the brain. With this in mind, lead author Dr Lennart Mucke suggests that targeting the EC in the early stages of dementia could prevent the disease form spreading through the brain. "Our findings directly support the hypothesis that Alzheimer's disease-related dysfunction is propagated through networks of neurons, with the EC as an important hub region of early vulnerability," he said. It was recently revealed that drug companies in America are working on around 100 new dementia treatments, driven by the need to deal with the ageing baby boom generation.

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