New Alzheimer’s Disease Research Suggests an Autoimmune Connection

Family caregiver comforting senior woman
New Alzheimer’s disease research points to the possibility that the disease may actually be an autoimmune condition.

Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease has turned out to be as entangled as the tau threads that have long been considered to be the underlying cause of the disease. But now, researchers may be drawing a step closer to untangling the puzzle of Alzheimer’s, through a new train of thought. The latest new Alzheimer’s disease research results are leaning towards the potential of an inflammatory reaction in the brain, which raises the question: could Alzheimer’s disease in fact be an autoimmune condition?

Seasonal allergy, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease sufferers know all too well the repercussions of a hyperactive immune system. In a perfect world, our immunity protects us from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that need to be eliminated. With an autoimmune disease, however, antibodies attack non-invasive, healthy cells, leading to inflammation and other unwanted effects.

In previous Alzheimer’s disease research, those infamous amyloid plaques have been the focus. Yet we also recognize that even in healthy brains, those plaques are present and are thought to carry out some form of helpful purpose. The immune system concentrates on these plaques, destroying them as well as possibly healthy cells in the process: an indication of a possible autoimmune response.

This alternative new method to researching and formulating treatment options for Alzheimer’s has won lead author of the research, Don Weaver, MD, PhD, of the Krembil Brain Institute, the 2022 Oskar Fischer Prize, which “recognizes innovative ideas in Alzheimer’s research that look beyond prevailing theories.”

For everyone else, it offers optimism that a cure for the disease that impacts a great number of people could be around the corner. Until then, turn to Serenity Home Care for creative, skilled, and compassionate dementia care services that help people with Alzheimer’s disease continue to live to their fullest potential in the homes they love. We’re proficient in assisting those with dementia and the families who love them to better deal with some of the more distressing facets of the disease, including:

  • Wandering and requesting to go “home”
  • Agitation, aggression, and other difficult and strong emotions
  • Increased discomfort in the late afternoon and evening hours (sundowning)
  • Repetitive conversations and behaviors
  • Memory problems
  • And much more

We will work with your family to provide as little or as much care as needed to ensure you have the breaks from caregiving you need for your own health and wellness. After all, providing care for a loved one with dementia is never a single-person task, especially as the disease progresses. Taking time away for self-care and to recharge is extremely important for you and your family as well as for the senior with dementia. A well-rested family caregiver is more patient and better equipped to supply the level of care a senior with dementia needs and deserves.

Serenity Home Care, the top provider of respite care in Oak Bay and the surrounding areas, is here for you, any time. Contact us at 250.590.8098 for more helpful Alzheimer’s care resources, and to schedule a free in-home consultation to learn more about how our dementia care experts can help optimize quality of life for a person you love through personalized in-home care services.