Protecting Neurons Could Prevent Depression and Cognitive Deterioration Caused by Alzheimer’s
In an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease, a compound was able to prevent brain cells from dying; this may potentially lead to alternative treatment for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s due to depression, memory loss, and progressively impaired cognitive ability.
The journal Biological Psychiatry just published a report describing how an experimental compound known as P7C3-S243 stopped brain cells from dying in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease.
The team of researchers was led by Andrew Pieper, a psychiatry professor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and discovered that the compound prevents animals from developing behavioral symptoms of depression, and subsequently memory loss and cognitive deterioration.
This report is important because not only did the compound stop the rats from developing behavioral symptoms typically associated with Alzheimer’s, it prevented development without altering other indications of Alzheimer’s like the build-up of toxic proteins in the brain, amyloid, and tau.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disease that progressively harms cognitive function, memory, judgment, communication, and behavior.
Along with memory loss and impaired cognitive ability, Alzheimer’s patients are susceptible to mental illnesses such as depression. Researchers believe depression often develops before the symptoms of memory loss and impaired thinking appear, and that experiencing depression for the first time in your older years is considered a big risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
It’s estimated that of the 47 million people worldwide that have dementia, 65% are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and sadly it is the only one of the top 10 causes of deaths that has no cure, prevention method, or way to slow progression.
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