Few illness associated with old age are as debilitating–both for the senior and their family–as Alzheimer’s disease. Through the years each New York elder law attorney at our firm has come to appreciate the myriad of ways that these degenerative cognitive conditions impact the lives of community members and affect their long-term planning. Medical experts working on better understanding this illness need all the support they can get–their work can truly change millions of life.
In a bit of good news, a New York Times article earlier this month discussed how a medical team studying Alzheimer’s may have found new information about how the condition spreads. By outward appearances, the disease seems to spread with a bacteria or virus moving from brain cell to brain cell. However, according to the new research that does not appear to be the case. Instead, the spreading of the condition is actually caused by a growth of a “tau” protein.
This new research seems to definitively answer for the first time a big question about the spread of the disease. For twenty five years experts debated whether Alzheimer’s spread via a transmission of the disease from neuron to neuron via paths used for cell communication or if the transmission did not occur along those paths but simply in clusters of “weaker” brain cells. This latest evidence suggests that cell-to-cell transmission via pathway does occur.