Gentle Electric Shocks May Cure Alzheimer’s: Study
Findings of a new Israeli study, which may well come across as a huge relief to millions of people around the world, reveals that restoring the equilibrium of key proteins in brains affected by the Alzheimer’s disease may not be as difficult as hitherto believed.
Researchers at the Tel Aviv University have uncovered the missing a missing link in restoring brain protein balance for Alzheimer’s patients.
The study suggests that routine everyday activities like reading books may act as tonic and thwart mind-deteriorating diseases. Such activities have the potency to energize the internal networks of the brain given the connections that they create in the mind.
Imbalance of Amyloid-Beta 40
At the heart of the study was the well documented fact the build-up of amyloid-beta protein in the brain leads to Alzheimer’s. The Israeli study further proved that it was the disproportion of the amyloid-beta 40 and not of amyloid-beta 42 that actually led to the medical condition.
As a part of the study, the researchers led by Dr. Inna Slutsky, stimulated the hippocampus regions of the brain, with the objective of restoring the imbalance of the amyloid-beta protein. A considerable portion of the memory and learning happens in this part of the brain.
The experiments revealed that gentle bursts of electricity, called spikes by the researchers, were effective in creating a healthy equilibrium of the requisite proteins in the brain.
“We hypothesize that changes in the temporal patterns of spikes in the hippocampus may trigger structural changes in the presenilin, leading to early memory impairments in people with sporadic Alzheimer’s,” claimed an ecstatic Slutsky.
The Way Forward
The study findings may revolutionize the future therapy and may provide succor to many patients whose lives have been crippled due to Alzheimer’s.
“Theoretically we could develop drugs that would mimic the effects of the electrical stimulations. This is far in the future, though,” noted Prof. Amos Korczyn, a neurologist and an authority on Alzheimer’s
“Unlike crude electroshock treatments used in schizophrenia, we are talking about a very delicate, gentle and highly focused electrical stimulation,” added Prof. Korczyn.
The professor cautioned that the present study was conducted in the short run and that too on animals. He suggested that further research be conducted on human beings for a substantially long period of time.
The findings of the study have been published in the in Nature Neuroscience.