Blocking brain inflammation ‘halts Alzheimer’s disease’

3 March 2016

Blocking the production of new immune cells in the brain could reduce memory problems seen in Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests.

University of Southampton researchers said their findings added weight to evidence that inflammation in the brain is what drives the disease.

A drug used to block the production of these microglia cells in the brains of mice had a positive effect.  Experts said the results were exciting and could lead to new treatments.

Up until now, most drugs used to treat dementia have targeted amyloid plaques in the brain which are a characteristic of people with the Alzheimer’s disease.

But this latest study, published in the journal Brain and funded by the Medical Research Council and Alzheimer’s Research UK, suggests that in fact targeting inflammation in the brain, caused by a build-up of immune cells called microglia, could halt progression of the disease.

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