Neuroscientist predicts better Alzheimer's treatment in 10 years

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British neuroscientist is hopeful that breakthroughs in Alzheimer's research could lead to better treatment in just 10 years.

In an interview with WBUR, neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli claims memory loss comes with age, but forgetting what certain everyday things are for could signal a more serious problem.

Healthy brains shrink by about 10 percent between ages 50 and 80. Brain cells shrivel up slightly, reducing contact between each cell and causing them to function more slowly.

In patients with Alzheimer's, toxic proteins cause a buildup of plaques and tangles in the brain, which causes cell death. Current medication only treats the symptoms, and can delay them for six months to a year.

Researchers have been looking into ways of using sleep to treat the disease, since the brain uses cerebrospinal fluid to clean away the plaques and tangles during sleep.

Scientists are also considering neural stem cells as a treatment for Alzheimer's, believing that the cells can be activated to generate new neurons allowing the brain to heal itself.

Jebelli believes the future of Alzheimer's treatment lies not in an outright cure but in being able to manage and control the disease enough to keep its symptoms at bay.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Healthy brains shrink with age, causes functions to become slower
2. Toxic proteins cause buildup of brain plaques and tangles in patients with Alzheimer's
3. Cerebrospinal fluid cleanses brain during sleep
4. Neural stem cell treatments could generate new neurons to help brain heal itself

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Healthy brains shrink by about 10 percent between ages 50 and 80. Brain cells shrivel up slightly, reducing contact between each cell and causing them to function more slowly."

"In patients with Alzheimer's, toxic proteins cause a buildup of plaques and tangles in the brain, which causes cell death. Current medication only treats the symptoms, and can delay them for six months to a year."

"Researchers have been looking into ways of using sleep to treat the disease, since the brain uses cerebrospinal fluid to clean away the plaques and tangles during sleep."

"Scientists are also considering neural stem cells as a treatment for Alzheimer's, believing that the cells can be activated to generate new neurons allowing the brain to heal itself."


SOURCES:
WBUR
http://www.wbur.org/npr/575055148/neuroscientist-predicts-much-better-treatment-for-alzheimers-is-10-years-away