According to British researchers, decoding the molecular components of the toxic substance causing dementia can be the breakthrough discovery of a cure for the disease
As a recent counting revealed more than 767.000 people affected by the condition in England and Wales alone and forecasts predict a more than 1 million affected people rise until 2030, researchers from the University College London and the University of Liverpool take into account a 57 per cent rise in the incidence of the disease by 2040.
Besides the medical concerning, the figures are significantly high due to the fact that the costs of dementia in the UK economy only equals £26.3 billion and the number of affected people is increasing.
Dr. James Pickett, researcher at Alzheimer’s Society, commented:
“With an ageing population and no way to cure, prevent or slow down the condition, dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer. These latest estimates are yet another wake-up call that the current social care system, already on its knees from decades of under-funding, needs urgent attention from the Government if it’s to cope with the inevitable massive increase in demand. Researchers must unite to achieve breakthroughs in prevention, treatment and care before dementia becomes an even larger health and social care crisis.”
But, in a recent attempt to find a cure for the disease, scientists have isolated the molecular composition of tissue samples containing the destructive protein “tau”, while deducing its atomic structure.
“Until now the high-resolution structures of tau or any other disease-causing filaments from human brain tissue have remained unknown. This new work will help to develop better compounds for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s,” Dr. Michel Goedert, of the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology explained.
With the latest discovery, researchers will be able to speed up the drug discovery process, by increasing the accuracy of the tests, as the tau protein has never been studied at this level of detail before.
Further studies on the molecular design of the tau protein could mark a new era of drug development and help millions of people around the world have longer, happier lives and, why not, maybe one day even find a cure for dementia.