Statistics show that one in 10 elderly Koreans suffer from dementia. Dementia, which slowly loses memory, is still classified as incurable because there is no cure.
Scientists have been trying to find a cure in a number of experiments over 20 years ago, but have failed in clinical trials. Most of the successful treatments in animal experiments were useless for humans.
Earlier this year, US pharmaceutical company Biogen developed a drug to reduce dementia's toxic protein * beta amyloid plaque, but failed in phase III clinical trials. Phase III clinical trials are conducted after the drug has been established to some extent, which is the final step in obtaining marketing authorization.
Beta amyloid: The main ingredient found in the brains of people with dementia.
However, unlike the initial trials, there was no effect of improving the cognitive function of patients, and the trial was discontinued.
But good news is also coming. The BBC reported two things that could have an optimistic outlook on dementia.
The German Center for Cancer Research found a way to catch early signs of dementia in a study in collaboration with a university in its country.
The study was conducted on patients who had been diagnosed with dementia for 14 years and found that if they had 'false folds' in their blood Aβ protein, they were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia within 14 years. Proteins need to be correctly folded into a three-dimensional structure, and if something goes wrong with this structure, beta amyloid plaques aggregate.
"We have found a way to capture early signs of dementia before clinical signs," he says. "Usually, brain neurons are often inaccessible at the point of dementia confirmation. "He added.
Researchers at the University of Berkeley have published findings that can slow and reverse cognitive decline. According to Berkeley, electrical stimulation of certain parts of the brain can prevent dementia progression.
The device revealed by the research team is a tuner. When brain cramps or seizure signals are picked up, the brain performs electrical stimulation on its own. Measure the activity of 64 electrodes installed in the brain and apply stimulation when abnormal areas are detected.
Fine tuning is still needed to see the effect, but the team hopes to slow the progression of the disease. The stimulus also removes beta amyloid plaques, adding that it can 'cure' dementia at all.