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Alzheimer’s breakthrough discovery

Alzheimer’s breakthrough discovery

Australian researchers are optimistic as they believe they have discovered a treatment that could revise the impacts of memory loss in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

The Macquarie University Dementia Research Centre study builds on previous research that found an enzyme in the brain could modify a protein so it prevents the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

The latest research went further by finding the gene responsible for the enzyme that could help restore or improve memory in mice suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

The study also suggests the gene therapy, which involves genetic material being introduced to cells to help replace abnormal genes, may also be helpful for those who are in their 40s and 50s and suffer from dementia.

Researchers have discovered gene therapy is safe when given in high doses and for a long period of time.

Dr Arne Ittner, one of the leaders of the study, says a better understanding is required of what happens to the molecules in the brain during dementia.

"Our work delivers a very powerful piece in this puzzle," he said in a statement.

His brother and co-research leader, Professor Lars Ittner, said he was ecstatic to see a decade worth of research transition into clinical development that could benefit those living with dementia.

"This provides hope as there is a lot of therapy out there focused on prevention but not much for those already affected by the disease," he said.

The two researchers said the possible success of this new therapy could be within reach in five to 10 years.