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Connections Between the Immune System and Alzheimer’s Development

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

The immune system plays an important role in keeping a senior healthy. If it becomes compromised, remaining healthy can be a considerable challenge. Though reduced immunity can have significant effects on the body, researchers are exploring some potential links with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The Oakville, ON, Alzheimer’s care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss some of these connections and the treatments that may be forthcoming.

Telltale Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many people know about the mental and emotional changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease, but all of these symptoms are the result of physical changes deep within the body and mind. These changes include brain inflammation caused by clumps of proteins known as amyloids. Localized inflammation is the body’s natural response to these proteins, and it is thought to be one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Immune System Connection

Protecting mental health is just one of the many jobs of the immune system, and it does this by clearing away natural and foreign substances that affect brain cells. However, the immune system does its job too well in some instances, which can result in permanently damaged brain cells. Over time, the resulting inflammation can increase a senior’s risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders.

Potential Future Treatments

A number of research teams throughout the world are exploring how to address the relationship between the immune system and the development of Alzheimer’s. One promising treatment involves disrupting the cells used to “tag” certain areas of the brain for the immune system to attack. In some initial studies on mice, antibodies that blocked this process before it ever started seemed to be somewhat effective.

Other Risk Factors

It is important to realize there is no single cause of Alzheimer’s. The leading specialists currently believe this disorder is the result of lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and genetics. Currently, the easiest way to reduce your elderly loved one’s risk of Alzheimer’s is to encourage him or her to live a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a clean diet. Seniors who have a family history of this disorder should also be tested for it as early and often as possible.

Alzheimer’s can be a challenging disease to manage, and reducing its risk can be difficult without assistance, but your family doesn’t have to face these challenges alone. Oakville Home Care Assistance provides dedicated Alzheimer’s caregivers who can help promote your loved one’s mental acuity and assist with various daily tasks like cooking and exercise. For more information on the elder care Oakville families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free in-home consultation.