Friday, October 11, 2013

A Cautious Hope

Monthly, I read articles about research findings which may lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.  Could even 25% of the research lead to a treatment?  It is highly unlikely.  However, the research is necessary because we won't know the right research path until we find a successful treatment.

This week, the results of a study were announced.  The study shows, for the first time, that the progress of a degenerative neurological disease was halted in a set of mice.  This fact alone makes this study of particular note.  The approach was to keep the brain cells producing proteins instead of letting them shut down in an attempt to prevent the spread of a virus.  By continuing production, the cells did not starve themselves to death from being shut down for too long.  I am grossly oversimplifying my paraphrase but the article linked above does good job of explaining.

Does this mean that a cure is around the corner?  No.  It means that one disease was kept from progressing in the mice.  It also means that scientists have one more piece of an extremely complex puzzle and a cautious hope that it will be a key to finding a treatment effective on humans.

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