In a major announcement from Washington, Congress has overwhelmingly approved a $400 million investment in Alzheimer’s research. Medical experts at the National Institute of Health are hopeful that influx of funding could one day lead to a cure. However, until that day, family caregivers who deal with the real-life consequences of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis need resources to help protect their loved ones still living at home. Second Family Home Care provides in-home Alzheimer’s care in Texas for those families struggling with this terrible degenerative disease. The good news is that scientists are yet another step closer to understanding the progression of this terrible degenerative disease.
Once-Neglected Cells Now Focus of Neurological Study
Indeed, a new discovery from a team of scientists at The University of Virginia’s School of Medicine has given researchers a better understanding of just how Alzheimer’s disease progresses. The scientists discovered that certain immune cells (called microglia) which had previously been blamed for Alzheimer’s symptoms are actually performing the task they were created to do. Indeed, these tiny little cells are extremely precise “cleaning machines” that are activated when the body senses a problem with the neurological system.
Previously many Alzheimer’s researchers suspected these cells may actually be responsible for causing the damage that creates symptoms in patients. However, the UVA discovery suggests that the real root cause is still unknown and these microglia are actually attempting to repair damage. Could they be too aggressive and damage healthy nerve cells as well? Perhaps, but this new research has helped steer a major arm of Alzheimer’s research in a more precise direction. Indeed, researcher scientists suggest that this understanding could lead to the development of a whole new line of therapeutic agents for treatment of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s (both of which strike deeply into our aging population.
In-Home Alzheimer’s Care in Texas Addresses the Current Need
While all of these exciting announcements about funding and new avenues of study have Alzheimer’s researchers excited, a cure is still a very long way away. The Texas Department of State Health Services estimates that roughly 380,000 individuals in our state are suffering from Alzheimer’s right now and the rate of newly diagnosed cases is expected to jump to one every 33 seconds by 2050. That’s a tremendous need and places a great strain on family caregivers.