Dementia could have a ‘cure’ within 10 years, scientists claim
Dementia could have a ‘cure’ within 10 years, leading scientist claims, as research targets the early stages of the disease
- London’s Dementia Research Institute is expected to double in size in two years
- Dementia affects 850,000 Brits and 5.7 million Americans and is on the rise
- Experts say research is heading towards a cure within the next 10 years
There could be a ‘cure for dementia’ within the next 10 years, experts claim
The unstoppable brain-wasting disease currently affects around 850,000 people in the UK and 5.7 million Americans, but there is no way to slow down the condition.
Professor Bart De Strooper, a world-renowned neuroscientist at University College London, claims researchers will have invented a cure by 2028 or even earlier.
Although he hasn’t named a specific treatment which could be ready within that time, Professor De Strooper says research is heading in the right direction.
Therapies could involve tackling the genetic causes or stopping the deadly build-up of proteins in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Experts particularly want to target treatments at people in early stages of dementia, before it has caused severe and irreparable damage.
Professor De Strooper’s comments come less than a week after scientists said they could predict dementia 10 years before it begins with a blood test.
Scientists at the Dementia Research Institute at University College London say they are working towards developing a cure for dementia within the next 10 years (stock image)
The world-renowned Belgian scientist has been director of the Dementia Research Institute at UCL since 2016.
He is leading a team of 270 researchers from six universities, who are trying to find a way to treat the cause of dementia rather than cope with its symptoms.
Most people who develop dementia do so because they have Alzheimer’s disease.
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Alzheimer’s is thought to be caused by waste proteins building up in the brain, gradually destroying nerve cells and reducing the brain’s ability to function.
Professor De Strooper told the Daily Express: ‘I think we will have a cure. In 10 years we will have a cure. I hope earlier.
‘You start to see biochemical changes about 20 years before dementia manifests itself so if you could stabilise the disease in this insidious phase then that would be very good, that would also be a cure.
‘It’s a bit like with cancer, you don’t hope to treat the patient when the cancer has taken over the body.
‘You want to treat it in the beginning when you have limited trouble.’
Scientists are working together from UCL, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, King’s College London, the University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University.
It is hoped the number of researchers will more than double to 700 at the £250million Dementia Research Institute within the next two years, in a bid to ramp up efforts to stamp out the devastating disease.
Last week, scientists claimed they could soon predict dementia up to 10 years in advance with a simple blood test.
Researchers led by Copenhagen University said doing a blood test and comparing it with people’s age and sex could predict their chance of getting the disease.
The results could then prompt doctors to prescribe medicine earlier in life and give advice on lifestyle changes to help people avoid the condition.
And although no cure exists, research Professor Frikke-Schmidt said: ‘Reduction of risk factors for dementia may have the potential to delay or prevent development of the disease.’
WHAT IS DEMENTIA? THE KILLER DISEASE THAT ROBS SUFFERERS OF THEIR MEMORIES
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders
A GLOBAL CONCERN
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.
There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.
Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.
It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million.
In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.
As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.
Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.
IS THERE A CURE?
Currently there is no cure for dementia.
But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.
Source: Dementia UK
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