Alzheimer’s is one of the most heartbreaking and devastating diseases out there, and treatments and cures have been hard to come by. However, research is constantly being performed to hopefully eradicate it altogether, and it looks like there might be some hope on the horizon. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a “remarkable” way to reverse Alzheimer’s. Given that six million Americans and 55 million people worldwide are living with the condition, which is the most common type of dementia, this could be an absolute game-changer.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that tends to progress over time. It leaves sufferers unable to function independently or even recognize their loved ones. Eventually, the condition advances to the point of death. Roughly 78 million people are estimated to suffer from Alzheimer’s by 2030, and that number will reach 139 million by 2050. In other words, finding a cure is paramount.
Researchers at MIT decided to try using a peptide to put a stop to CDK15, an enzyme that tends to go haywire in the brains of those who have Alzheimer’s. Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that using the peptide on mice with Alzheimer’s and overactive CDK5 slowed DNA damage, neuron loss, and neural inflammation. The mice that received the peptide treatment also were better at mental tasks like navigating a water maze, which is pretty impressive.
“We found that the effect of this peptide is just remarkable. We saw wonderful effects in terms of reducing neurodegeneration and neuroinflammatory responses, and even rescuing behavior deficits,” said Li-Huei Tsai, the study’s senior author. In other words, it could seriously work to slow or even reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms, though more research needs to be done to see whether these results are replicated in human subjects. Here’s hoping it’s a turning point!