Scientists Discovered What Causes Dementia
An international team of researchers claims to have found a major cause of dementia - an incurable brain disease.
Scientists discovered a major cause of dementia which can help in the diagnosis and treatment of the illness. The researchers point to toxic levels of urea in the brain as being responsible for the brain damage that leads to dementia, an incurable neurodegenerative disease that causes an impairment of memory and thinking abilities.
Urea is a byproduct of protein metabolism, produced by the liver to remove ammonia from the body. If you’re wondering - yes, urea is what’s excreted from the body in urine after being filtered by the kidneys.
The paper published by collaborating scientists from the UK, Australia, New Zealand the U.S. shows that Huntington’s Disease, one of seven major kinds of dementia that’s related to aging, has a direct relationship to urea levels in the brain as well as metabolic processes. A 2016 study by the same group also linked urea to Alzheimer’s. This proves, according to Professor Garth Cooper, who led the team from the University of Manchester in the U.K, that their discovery relates to different type of dementias.
The observation that high urea levels set in before the onset of dementia can help doctors to one day diagnose and treat the disease.
“This study on Huntington’s Disease is the final piece of the jigsaw which leads us to conclude that high brain urea plays a pivotal role in dementia, said Professor Cooper. “Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are at opposite ends of the dementia spectrum – so if this holds true for these types, then I believe it is highly likely it will hold true for all the major age-related dementias.”
He added that more research is needed to understand how the urea levels get elevated.
The current study was conducted on human brains, donated by families for medical purposes as well as the brains of genetically modified sheep.
The international team included scientists from the University of Manchester, the University of Auckland, AgResearch New Zealand, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University.
You can read their study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.