Alzheimer's disease can be seen in people as early as age 20 reports a new research conducted by a team of experts led by Changiz Geula from Northwestern University.
After the teen years are over, the amyloid protein that causes synapse-blocking plaque buildup in the brain starts accumulating and continues to worsen with age.
Amyloid clumping, the real issue in Alzheimer's disease is the difference between the old and the young. Geula said, "It was the age that really surprised us. In the young adults, we already see accumulation of amyloids."
"What this means is these neurons are susceptible to accumulate at a young age, but that the clumping really occurs during the aging process. During life, the substance needed to make clumps is available. And if you have susceptibility to form clumps, this could worsen," said Guela.
Amyloid proteins are sticky in nature and form plaques. When the plaques clump together, they block cell-to-cell signalling at synapses and also trigger the body's immune system, causing inflammation and the deterioration of brain cells.
Geula cautioned, "And this doesn't mean that because young people have a measure of amyloids that everyone is going to get Alzheimer's. It's not an alarm. We have known for a while that if we want effective therapy for Alzheimer's, we have to start early. What these findings suggest is the earlier the better."
Evidence suggests amyloid production can be diminished through a balanced diet combined with exercise. Apart from diet and exercise, eliminating smoking and alcohol, positive thinking and engaging in mental exercises, are also recommended to ward off degenerative brain disease.