Alzheimer’s disease is a disease neurodegenerative. That is to say, it reaches the brain gradually until it reaches neuronal death. Gradually, sufferers lose memory and certain intellectual functions, leading to repercussions in the activities of daily living.
Symptoms change over time and vary from person to person. However, the memory problems are the most common symptom. They are generally associated with other disorders such as language disorders, difficulty performing certain gestures, loss of executive functions or loss of recognition of certain objects or certain people.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common of dementias of the elderly subject. According to INSERM, 900,000 people are affected by this disease in France.
According to the Vaincre Alzheimer Foundation, “there is currently no treatment capable of curing Alzheimer’s disease or slowing down its development in the brain. Nevertheless, there are four medications prescribed for the purpose of treating cognitive symptoms. They do not prevent the spread of the disease but remain effective on short-term cognition. However, side effects (digestive disorders, cardiovascular disorders, etc.) sometimes cause this treatment to be stopped.
Blood transfusion: better spatial memory
On July 15, 2022, researchers published their work in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Scientists from the Department of Neurology indicate that by carrying out blood transfusions, it is possible to combat the deleterious effects of Alzheimer’s disease. These are only first observations, made on mice and which must be confirmed on a human model.
To arrive at these observations, the researchers transfused mice with Alzheimer’s disease with “normal” blood from mice with the same genetic heritage. They were then able to observe that “the volume of amyloid plaques cerebral (aggregates that form around neurons preventing them from functioning properly) of sick mice was significantly reduced by 40 to 80%” explains Professor Akihiko Urayama’s team.
The mechanism by which this blood exchange reduces the presence of amyloid plaques is not yet known. This reduction was also accompanied by a improved spatial performance and a decrease in plaque growth rates over time.
The researchers think they have an interesting lead for the Alzheimer’s disease treatment.