Is Alzheimer’s an Autoimmune Disease?

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New research about brain inflammation raises questions about Alzheimer’s as an autoimmune disease.

 

Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s has turned out to be as tangled as the tau threads long considered to be the underlying cause of the disease. But now, research may be a step nearer to untangling the puzzle of Alzheimer’s disease, by using a new train of thought. New findings are leaning towards the hypothesis of an inflammatory reaction in the brain, which poses the question: is Alzheimer’s an autoimmune disease?

Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers know all too well the effects of an overactive immune system. In an ideal world, our immune system protects us from viruses, bacteria, and other infections that need to be eradicated. With an autoimmune disease, however, antibodies attack non-invasive, healthy cells, causing inflammation and other unwanted effects.

In past Alzheimer’s disease research, those infamous amyloid plaques have been the focus. Yet we also understand that even in healthy brains, these plaques are present and are suspected to conduct some form of helpful purpose. The immune system concentrates on these plaques, destroying them along with possibly healthy cells in the process: suggestive of a potential autoimmune response.

This alternative new method to researching and developing treatment options for Alzheimer’s has earned lead author of the research, Don Weaver, MD, PhD, of the Krembil Brain Institute, the 2022 Oskar Fischer Prize, which “recognizes innovative ideas in Alzheimer’s research that look beyond prevailing theories.”

For the rest of us, it provides optimism that a cure for the illness that impacts a multitude of people may possibly be around the corner. Until then, turn to Golden Harmony for compassionate, creative, and skilled dementia care services that help people with Alzheimer’s disease continue to live to their fullest potential in the homes they love. We are proficient in assisting those with dementia and the families who love them to better manage some of the more unpleasant facets of the disease, like:

  • Wandering and wanting to go “home”
  • Aggression, agitation, and other difficult and strong emotions
  • Increased discomfort in the late afternoon and overnight hours (sundowning)
  • Repetitive behaviors and conversations
  • Loss of memory
  • And more

We will partner with your family to provide as much or as little care as needed to provide you with the breaks from caregiving you need for your own health and wellbeing. After all, caring for a person with dementia is never a single-person endeavor, particularly as the disease advances. Taking time away to care for yourself and to recharge is extremely important for you and your family as well as for the person you love with dementia. A well-rested care provider is more patient and better prepared to supply the level of care a person with dementia needs and deserves.

Call us at 919-426-7522 for further helpful Alzheimer’s care resources and to learn more about our senior care in Raleigh, NC and the surrounding areas. We would be happy to schedule a free in-home consultation to share more about how our dementia care experts can help maximize the quality of life for someone you love.

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