Until now, the development of Alzheimer’s was only thought to begin in late age, where proteins known as amyloid plaques begin to develop in the brain. But recent research suggests that the development of this brain-destructive disease may start in our early 20’s – finding that these proteins start to accumulate around this time.
Published in the journal Brain, the recent report reveals how plaques begin to form early in life. While amyloid is initially beneficial to our brains processes, the mis-formation of these proteins in the bran in some individuals is what leads to brain degeneration. The result is dementia and memory loss.
As reported by Time:
“Amyloid is normally made by the brain and has important functions; it’s an antioxidant and promotes the brain’s ability to remain adaptable by forming new connections and reinforcing old ones, especially those involving memory. But in some people, the proteins start to clump together with age, forming sticky masses that interfere with normal nerve function. Eventually, these masses kill neurons by starving them of their critical nutrients and their ability to communicate with other cells.”
For the research, Changiz Geula, a professor at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and his team compared the autopsy brains from:
- Normal (early ages) people between the ages of 20 and 66
- Individuals between the ages of 70 and 99, without dementia
- Individuals with Alzheimer’s between the ages of 60 and 95
The researchers found evidence of amyloids in a section of the brain in every person – though from a region that isn’t normally studies for Alzheimer’s. Ultimately, the results show that Alzheimer’s progression can start in our early 20’s, and that it’s important to take measures to prevent the accumulation of these amyloid plaques.
“There is some characteristic of these neurons that allows amyloid to accumulate there more than in other neurons. At least in this cell population, the machinery to form aggregates is there,” says Geula.
Geula believes that even in people with a genetic predisposition to forming these sticky plaques, removing amyloid as early as possible can slow down the progression of the disease. The key is to start early. “If you can get rid of the background [amyloid], then it can’t do anything,” says Geula.
A Promising Protective Measure
While there is no widely accepted key method for preventing Alzheimer’s in Western medicine, there are numerous measures you can take that may be able to protect your brain.
Among some of the most popular solutions revolves around coconut oil and Alzheimer’s. Coconut oil has been hailed as a miracle food by many in the fight against dementia and preservation of the brain.
In one study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, results support existing evidence that coconut oil may help to alleviate the neurodegenerative effects of Alzheimer’s disease, helping to shed shine light on a way to use coconut oil to reduce amyloid plaques in the brain.
In a clinical trial involving the medium chain triglycerides of coconut oil, it was found that users experienced a profound difference after only 45-90 day’s use. It turns out that coconut oil “rescued” Aβ-treated neurons from mitochondrial damage caused by their toxicity. Coconut oil also seemed to change the circulation of mitochondria, as well as their size.
This is just one studies that mirrors others, followed by real-life cases of coconut oil’s miraculous results.