Dr. Samuel Gandy of Mt. Sinai Medical College is “hailing [this] new discovery as the most significant finding in 20 years” for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
In short, scientists at deCODE Genetics in Iceland found a rare gene mutation that prevents the buildup of a plaque (called beta-amyloid) that develops around the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. People older than 85 who have this mutation are 81% less likely to develop the disease than others the same age.
According to deCODE CEO, Dr. Kari Stefansson, the discovery is “confirmation of the idea that if you block [the] enzyme… you will be able to prevent the disease or cure the disease… That is the part of the discovery that has the greatest relevance to treatment.”
Now, if scientists can just figure out how to give everyone this same genetic anomaly, then we could be well on our way to curing the disease altogether. And that’s something that could happen in as little as 10 years.
Like Gandy says, “Hopefully within a decade we’ll be able to arrest the progression of the disease.”