The Alzheimer’s Disease is a pressing issue in the field of Biology as it affects many individuals with symptoms of memory loss, difficulty completing traditional tasks, and new problems with speaking or reading words. This disease is neurodegenerative and effects all kinds of mentation abilities, and in 2021 its estimated that over 6 million Americans suffer from the disease. It is known that pathological proteins can cause the spread of the disease to other tissues, leading to the symptoms that are presented with the disease. The first evidence that proteins other than prions could be pathologic was described in 1994, when the introduction of brain tissue from a patient with Alzheimer's disease into the brains of aged marmosets was followed by the seeding of Aβ plaques. These Aβ plaques are lesions in the brain that identify the disease in patients through MRI scans of the brain.
Luckily, there are some new treatments being made for patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Some of the new Alzheimer's treatments in development target microscopic clumps of the protein beta-amyloid plaques. New studies with monoclonal antibodies prove significant, as they mimic the effects of antibodies the body would naturally produce as an immune system response to the disease. These unique antibodies have been evident in removing the amyloid plaque and are now in phase 3 human trials. This clinical trial includes 3,000 patients to evaluate how effective the new treatments may be for the disease and may be approved in the coming years. Monoclonal antibodies have also been used to treat some patients with Covid-19 because of their relieving effect to boost the natural immunity of the immune system response. This idea is being applied to diseases like Alzheimer’s now to limit the buildup of plaque on the brain as well as stop the spread of the disease-causing proteins.
There is lots of room for hope for the future as studies on new treatments continue to develop and pass clinical trials. Unfortunately, there is no signs of a cure for the disease. The field of biology has been working relentlessly on treatments for neurodegenerative diseases that offer relief of pain or symptoms, and in many cases halting the onset of the disease, which adds life expectancy for patients who suffer from severe cases.
Tyler Whiffen (5)