A team of scientists at Duke University in United States has successfully created a drug that can prevent the occurring of Dementia in mice.

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The team, during its research, found that dementia may occur because of the attack of certain immune cells in the brain. These immune cells attack the nutrients in the brain and a weakened brain suffers from Dementia.

Till now, no drug has been found to be effective against the brain disease Dementia and the new discovery opens up a range of possibilities for scientists in treating Dementia and other brain diseases.

The research reveals that indented microglia breaks down a protein component called arginine. More specifically, arginine is a type of amino acid. The body’s first line of immune defense includes microglia, which are essentially glial cells with phagocytic functions.

The lowering of arginine levels in the brain by Microglia further lowers the efficiency of immune system.

The Experiment

The mice experiment at Duke University consisted of the use of a chemical which blocked the enzymes that caused the breakdown of amino acid arginine. Successive treatment of chemicals in mice helped them to perform better in memory tests. These mice had a lesser amount of damaged arginine and protein. They also showed fewer characteristics of dementia.

According to Dr Matthew Kan, the experiments reveal that if the amino acid breakage can be stopped in the brain or if the brain is not deprived of the amino acid then the mouse can be protected from Alzheimer’s and Dementia disease. She said that the research has opened new doors for Alzheimer treatment and has broken the stalemate that was found in ideas relating to the disease.

Dr James Pickett, who is associated with the Alzheimer Society, said that the findings give hope and new treatment can be introduced for Dementia on the basis of the research. He said that the study covered some of the unknown aspects of Alzheimer, like the role played by the immune system in Dementia occurrence.

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