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IIT GUWAHATI: NEW WAY PREVENT ALZHEIMER MEMORY LOSS

Why in news?

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has worked on out-of-the-box ideas that can help prevent or reduce short-term memory losses associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Details

  • The Research explored new ways to prevent accumulation of neurotoxic molecules in the brain that are associated with short-term memory loss.
  • The scientists found that application of a low-voltage, safe electrical field can reduce the formation and accumulation of toxic neurodegenerative molecules that cause short-term memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • They found that external electric/magnetic field modulates the structure of these peptide molecules, thereby preventing aggregation.

Significance

  • India has the third highest number of Alzheimer’s patients in the world, after China and US.
  • In India more than four million people falling prey to the memory loss associated with it.
  • Current treatments only alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease, there is no disruptive therapeutic approach yet that can treat the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s.
  • This research has provided a different path that may extend the onset of the Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time.
  • It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia.
  • The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events.
  • The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is poorly understood, about 70% of the risk is believed to be inherited from a person’s parents, with many genes usually involved.
  • Other risk factors include a history of head injuries, depression, and hypertension.
  • No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms.
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October 2022
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