A new hope in the fight against dementia

A new hope in the fight against dementia

Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases are devastating to individuals and the families who care for them. Family members are often left to watch helplessly as their loved one slowly succumbs to cognitive decline. Once-simple tasks become impossible and familiar faces become unrecognizable.

Now, there is new hope for the victims and families of this destructive group of diseases, in the form of a machine-learning algorithm.

It has been generally accepted by science that the clumping of microscopic proteins in the brain is deeply connected to dementia, but it is unknown why the clumping process happens in the first place. And it has been extremely challenging to study the tiny building blocks to draw any conclusions about how to combat the condition.

A free, open-source algorithm — developed by researchers in Denmark —can track these proteins clumping in real-time. Additionally, it can map and track the development and characteristics of the proteins that are part of dementia.

With the algorithm making it much easier to study the clumping proteins, researchers hope the development will lead to a greater understanding of dementia-related diseases as well as quicker development of new drugs and therapies.

The scientists are also applying the same tool to study the same kind of protein clumping in insulin molecules, which impact our ability to regulate blood sugar.

Ultimately, the researchers hope the algorithm will inspire a push to learn more about the shapes and functions of proteins and molecules.

While countless families have been impacted by the ravages of dementia, there is hope for more effective treatments in the future.

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