A new report by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston suggests promise in the area of Alzheimer???s prevention.
In the United States, Alzheimer???s disease is the only cause of death in the Top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed, but scientists are hopeful that further research could change that. According to an article published by The UTMB Newsroom, a team of researchers at UTMB looked at the incidence of dementia in a group of patients treated with calcineurin inhibitors after receiving organ transplants. They found that, compared with the general populations of both Texas and the United States, those treated with calcineurin-inhibiting medications showed a much lower prevalence of Alzheimer???s disease.
Because these calcineurin inhibitors suppress the immune system, scientists have not yet tested whether the medications could prevent Alzheimer???s disease in healthy individuals. However, recipients of transplanted organs already must take the medications to prevent infection, so the research team was able to use existing data to get a glimpse into a possible avenue of further research and avoid putting participants at further risk.
Although researchers do not fully understand what causes Alzheimer???s disease to develop, the results of this study may offer insight. Because so few of the patients taking calcineurin inhibitors developed Alzheimer???s disease, it???s possible that the medications offer protection against the disease. Hopefully further research will allow scientists to use these findings for the development of medications that can prevent or treat Alzheimer???s disease.
Read more about the study here: http://www.utmb.edu/newsroom/article10489.aspx