Jan 12, 2016 03:10 AM EST
Alzheimer's disease is a mental illness that is long believed to be a disturbance to the body's immune system. However, a recent study showed that it could actually be the other way around when blocking brain inflammation could actually cause the illness.
A study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Southampton regarding the possible treatments of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers have studied it by examining tissues of a perfectly healthy man and compared it to those who were affected by the mental condition. The researchers discovered that the brain of those people with Alzheimer's has much more immune cells known as 'microglia' compared to those perfectly healthy individuals.
The team of scientists looked for microglia on a couple of lab rats that were bred to develop a condition similar to the progressive neurodegenerative disease. A series of studies were then made to the test subjects. The scientists injected some of the rats with a chemical called "CSF1R" that controls the number of microglia, preventing the cells from multiplying too much. They were able to observe that the brain cells in the untreated test subject have continued to falter, therefore making it lose the connection they have with one another, while those who were treated were able to maintain the normal level of microglia needed in the brain. These treated vermin also experienced less memory and behavioral problems compared to those that did not receive the CSF1R substance.
According to Dr. Diego Gomez-Nicola, neuroscientist and researcher in the biological sciences at Southampton, the results of their study is the best evidence available to prove that microglia and inflammation are factors when it comes to the development of Alzheimer's. He added that the next step for his group of researchers is to do more studies based on the results they have acquired in order for them to come up with a safe drug that can be tested on humans and see if the CSF1R has the same effect.