University of Central Florida Alzheimer’s Study Could Lead the Way for More Effective Treatment
UCF researchers discover previous unknown mechanism that may accelerate early brain function deterioration
Current methods to treat Alzheimer’s involve administering treatment once the brain impairment is noticeable in a patient, which is often minimally effective and cannot stop the advancement of the disease. The university team, led by James Hickman, head of the UCF NanoScience Technology Center’s Hybrid Systems Laboratory, applied very low amyloid-beta concentrations to healthy brain cells to mimic the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. Even at low levels, the healthy cells’ exposure to the amyloid-beta concentrations prevented electrical signals from traveling normally through them. This discovery led the team to conclude that the onset of Alzheimer’s may occur well before an afflicted person shows signs of cognitive impairment. The study raises important questions about detection, treatment, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.