Some new research has been performed regarding the cognitive decline that people have once they age and the results of the study have been absolutely groundbreaking. It would appear that there is a molecule that could potentially be an essential biomarker regarding the identification of individuals that suffer from a greater risk of eventually developing dementia during the course of their lives. This molecule is important not just for identification purposes, but it could also prove pivotal in the quest that scientists have embarked on regarding finding a treatment that can actually prevent, or at least delay, the onset of dementia during the later stages of life.
To go back to the basics, dementia is an awful condition that includes a progressive decline of memory, together with the decline of thinking and communication, eventually debilitating the person completely. All around the globe, the number of people that are suffering from this condition is estimated to range around 43.8 million in 2016, double when compared to the numbers in 1990, which varied around 20.2 million.
The Paragon of Dementia
By far, the most commonly found form of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the cause for about 60 to 70% of all cases out there. As the age of populations increases, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are expected to keep on rising at a significant rate.
At the moment, symptoms cannot be reversed after they start occurring. Because of this, scientists are trying to look into ways to identify the condition years or even decades before it sets in, with the hope of then using drugs to prevent its progress.
There is one very promising biomarker that indicates Alzheimer’s. It is a molecule that is found in the blood and it is called asymmetitrc dimethylarginine. It inhibits an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase and it thus reduces the amount of nitric oxide that is synthetized, eventually encouraging dementia.