Researchers claim to have found the key to understanding the cause of Alzheimer's-related memory loss.
A team from the Buck Institute believe that Alzheimer's patients' brains become "stuck" in the process of culling inconsequential memories – resulting in "throwing the balance of making and breaking memories seriously off kilter", reports the Daily Mail.
The team concluded that Alzheimer's patients memory loss is "hyper-activated" – caused by increasingly frequent 'splitting' of a brain tissue molecule called amyloid precursor protein.
Initial tests showed that youngsters displayed ten times as much of the splitting event as Alzheimer's patients; however, Alzheimer's patients experienced more splitting than participants of the same age who did not suffer from the condition.
"Young brains operate like Ferraris – shifting between forward and reverse, making and breaking memories with a facility that surpasses that of older brains, which are less plastic," researcher leader Dr Dale Bredesen told the publication.
According to the Alzheimer's Society, there will be over a million people with dementia living in the UK by 2025.
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