November 10, 2022
Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s has become as entangled as the tau threads that have long been considered to be the underlying cause of the disease. Yet now, scientists may be coming one step closer to untangling the puzzle of Alzheimer’s disease, by using another train of thought. New findings are leaning towards the possibility of an inflammatory response in the brain, which presents the question: is Alzheimer’s an autoimmune condition?
Seasonal allergy, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease sufferers know firsthand the effects of a hyperactive immune system. In a perfect world, our immune system shields us from bacteria, viruses, and other infections that need to be eradicated. However, with an autoimmune condition, antibodies attack healthy, non-invasive cells, generating inflammation and other unpleasant effects.
In past Alzheimer’s disease studies, those notorious amyloid plaques have been the focus. Yet we also know that even in healthy brains, those plaques are in place and are suspected to perform some type of helpful function. The immune system targets these plaques, destroying them and possibly healthy cells in the process: indicative of a potential autoimmune response.
This unconventional new strategy to studying and formulating treatment possibilities for Alzheimer’s has won lead author of the study, Don Weaver, MD, PhD, of the Krembil Brain Institute, the 2022 Oskar Fischer Prize, which “recognizes innovative ideas in Alzheimer’s research that look beyond prevailing theories.”
For the rest of us, it provides hope that a cure for the condition that impacts a multitude of people may be on the horizon. For the time being, turn to Continuum for compassionate, creative, and skilled memory care in Clayton and the surrounding areas that helps individuals with Alzheimer’s disease continue to live to their fullest potential in the homes they love. We are adept in supporting those with dementia and the families who love them to better manage some of the more unpleasant aspects of the disease, such as:
- Wandering and requesting to go “home”
- Agitation, aggression, and other strong and difficult emotions
- Increased discomfort in the late afternoon and overnight hours (sundowning)
- Repetitive conversations and behaviors
- Memory problems
- And more
We will work with your family to provide as little or as much care as needed to provide you with the breaks from caregiving you need for your own health and wellbeing. After all, caring for someone with dementia is never a one-person endeavor, particularly as the disease advances. Taking time away for self-care and to recharge is extremely important for you and your family as well as for the senior with dementia. A well-rested caregiver is more patient and better equipped to provide the level of care a senior with dementia needs and deserves.
Contact us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 for further helpful dementia care resources, and to arrange a free in-home meeting to learn more about how our dementia care experts can help optimize quality of life for a person you love.