Promising New Alzheimer's Research

Health: Alzheimer's Research

There's a lot happening with Alzheimer's research.
An experimental drug is now showing early promise... some experts say it could be a game changer in the fight against the incurable disease.
This new drug, called "aducanumab" ("add-you-can-oo-mab), is hoped to stop alzheimer's before it attacks.
The research, funded by the drug's maker, shows it shattered and removed toxic plaques in the brains of patients with early-stage alzheimer's disease.
Now, experts are cautious... saying previous drugs have also been encouraging in early trials... and then later failed.
It will take much larger studies to know for sure whether the drug can really slow down alzheimers... and those studies are expected to run until at least the year 2020.

There's also new research suggesting that tiny particles of pollution found in brain tissue could be contributing to diseases such as alzheimer's.
Now, many studies have focused on the impact of dirty air on the lungs and heart... but this study provides the first evidence that tiny particles of what is called magnetite, which can be derived from pollution, can find their way into the brain.
Though no definite link between magnetite and alzheimer's has been established, previous studies have found a correlation between high quantities of the compound and the disease.

And there's more proof that a healthy lifestyle can help prevent memory loss.
Researchers at u-c-l-a studied adults who had experienced some mild memory changes ... but not dementia.
Brain scans showed that a healthy b-m-i, physical activity, and a mediterranean diet - were each linked to fewer of the plaques and tangles associated with alzheimer's disease.
Experts say this is the first study to show how lifestyle affects the brain before serious memory problems develop.
And even more good news... living a healthy lifestyle is also related to reduced shrinking of the brain and lower rates of atrophy in people with Alzheimer's.

(NBC Contributed)

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