Discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s disease has become as tangled as the tau threads that have long been considered to be the root cause of the disease. Yet now, research workers may be drawing one step nearer to untangling the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease by using another train of thought. The latest studies are leaning towards the potential of an inflammatory response in the brain, which raises the question: could Alzheimer’s disease really be an autoimmune disease?
Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers know all too well the repercussions of a hyperactive immune system. In a perfect world, our immunity shields us from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that need to be eliminated. With an autoimmune disease, however, antibodies attack non-invasive, healthy cells, generating inflammation and other unpleasant effects.
In earlier Alzheimer’s disease research, those infamous amyloid plaques have been the focus. Yet we also know that even in healthy brains, these plaques are present and are thought to carry out some form of helpful purpose. The immune system concentrates on these plaques, destroying them as well as potentially healthy cells in the process: suggestive of a potential autoimmune response.
This unconventional new strategy to researching and formulating treatment options for Alzheimer’s has earned 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 disease that impacts a multitude of people could be around the corner. Until then, turn to Generations at Home for compassionate, creative, and skilled Alzheimer’s care services that help those with Alzheimer’s disease continue to live to their fullest potential in the homes they love. Our caregivers are adept in helping those with dementia and the families who love them to better deal with some of the more disturbing aspects of the disease, such as:
- Wandering and asking to go “home”
- Agitation, aggression, and other difficult and strong emotions
- Increased discomfort in the late afternoon and evening hours (sundowning)
- Repetitive conversations and behaviors
- Memory loss
- And much more
We will work together with your family to provide as much or as little care as needed to provide you with the breaks from caregiving you need for your own health and wellness. After all, caring for a loved one with dementia is never a one-person undertaking, particularly as the disease progresses. Taking time away to care for yourself and to recharge is extremely important for you and your family as well as for the individual with dementia. A well-rested care provider is more patient and better prepared to supply the level of care a senior with dementia needs and deserves.
Call us at 727-940-3414 for additional helpful dementia care resources, and to arrange a free in-home consultation to learn more about how our dementia care experts can help improve quality of life for a person you love.