A new study centered on the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, manage to prove that larger build-ups of beta amyloids plaques can induce a state in which the patient loses the ability to communicate and to understand language.
The new inquiry was performed by a team of medical researcher from the University of Northwestern Illinois. Throughout their research on Alzheimer’s, the team discovered that the position where the toxic protein builds up is essential in deciphering the mechanism of the disease.
As far as the medical literature is concerned, Alzheimer’s dementia can fall into two categories. The first one is called memory-related dementia, and, according to the scientists, it is the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease.
The other form of the affliction bears the name of language-related dementia, and it is far rarer than memory-related dementia. This condition, which also bears the name of PPS or primary progressive aphasia.
Emily Rogalski, the lead author of the study, declared that by understanding the underlying mechanism of Alzheimer’s, as well as its specificity, we can develop more targeted therapies.
Now, according to this new research project, depending on the site of the beta-amyloid build-up, the patient may suffer from one form of Alzheimer or the other. Using a highly specialized imaging chamber called Amyloid PET, scientists have discovered that those who suffer from PPS have larger beta-amyloid build-ups in their left hemisphere.
Subsequently, those who suffer from the memory-related form of the disease, have equal amounts of beta-amyloid plaques in both hemispheres.
In the past, doctors could only tell the amount of beta-amyloid plaques after the patient died. But now, thanks to the Amyloid PET imagining chamber, doctors can see, in real-time, how the disease progresses.
To see how PPA affects the level of beta-amyloid, the team of researcher set up a small trial, involving patients with PPA, patients suspected of Alzheimer’s disease and a couple of patients who had the memory form of the disease.
The team scanned the brains of approximately 32 patients who suffered from primary progressive aphasia and examined an additional 19 patients who were suspected of the disease.
After that, the team compared the results from this group with the results from the other group comprised of 22 people who had the memory-related form.
The final results pointed out that those suffering from PPS had a larger cluster of beta-amyloid plaques in their left hemisphere while those who had the memory-related one had equal amounts of build-ups.