(MATT ATHERTON, DAILY EXPRESS) Dementia could soon be cured, scientists say, after revealing a major breakthrough in understanding the cause of Huntington’s disease.
A buildup of toxic urea in the brain could be causing the condition, researchers revealed.
Discovering the cause of Huntington’s disease could translate to understanding why other types of dementia begin, they said.
Huntington’s is a neurodegenerative condition that’s linked to other diseases including various types of dementia and type 2 diabetes.
“This study is the final piece of the jigsaw which leads us to conclude that high brain urea plays a pivotal role in dementia,” said leader of the research, Professor Garth Cooper.
Urea is a natural chemical that the body produces. The body usually gets rid of the chemical in urine, but if toxic levels of urea build up in the brain, it could lead to dementia.
Identifying those at risk of high levels of urea in the brain could help doctors diagnose the condition early, and potentially even treat it.
Urea could build up if the kidneys struggle to get rid of it.
Medicines are available that can help patients get rid of urea from their body.
“So, it is conceivable that one day, a commonly used drug may be able to stop dementia from progressing,” said Cooper.
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“It might even be shown that [this treatment] may help in the regeneration of tissue, thus giving a tantalizing hint that reversal of dementia may one day be possible.”
Read the full story at Daily Express.