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How a New Implant May Stave Off Alzheimer’s Disease

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Abnormal folding and clumping of amyloid-beta proteins is believed to be the primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease. These protein clumps turn into plaques that permanently damage and distort brain cells, which prevent normal signal transmission from one cell to the next. The breakdown of these neurons causes the many symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s including dementia. Symptoms progress as more clumps develop and enlarge. While there are some medications designed to slow the progression of the disease, there is no cure. However, a group of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne may have discovered a preventative treatment that may benefit seniors who would otherwise require Alzheimer’s home care in Nashville.

In order for the body to fight off various diseases, people typically receive vaccinations that introduce antibodies to specific organisms. If the invaders enter the body, antibodies recognize the intruders and set out to eliminate the problem. Fighting Alzheimer’s may be just as simple. However, individuals would require frequent vaccinations as the proteins continually develop.

Using a concept developed by Swiss researcher Patrick Aebischer, the group of scientists developed a biologically compatible capsule that resembles a strip. The device is designed to lay beneath the skin and measures a mere one-inch long, .05 inches wide and 0.05 inches thick. It contains a hydrogel medium, which harbors antibody-producing cells. These cells continually generate and release antibodies through two membranes framed within polypropylene. The antibodies are engineered to automatically recognize and hunt the harmful amyloid proteins.

The duo membranes allow nutrients to enter and feed the cells while protecting the capsule contents from attack by the wearer’s antibodies. This also allows scientists to use the same cells on different people without fear of having the device rejected. Once the generated antibodies mature, they pass through the membrane, travel through the blood and to the brain where they look for and destroy the amyloid beta-proteins. The materials used to make the implant are also easily reproduced for manufacturing in mass quantities, which will make it easily accessible to seniors and their Alzheimer’s or dementia caregivers in Nashville.

The device is still undergoing testing but it has the potential of preventing Alzheimer’s before symptoms manifest. Until then, Home Care Assistance of Nashville is prepared to help local seniors manage their disease from home. Our trusted Alzheimer’s caregivers help clients with everything from mobility training to personal care assistance. To learn more about comprehensive Alzheimer’s home care Nashville seniors can trust, call (615) 656-4999 and schedule a complimentary consultation today.