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Alberto Pérez-Mediavilla: "There is no effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease".

The professor of the University of Navarra explained the disease from a transnational approach , in the framework of the Science Weeks.

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Image of a neuron in a project of the University of Navarra.
PHOTO: Manuel Castells
15/11/13 13:29 Laura Latorre

After 107 years, since Alois Alzheimer described the characteristic lesions present in a brain with the dementia that bears his name (Alzheimer's disease), there is no effective treatment. This was stated by the professor of Biochemistry and molecular biology of the University of Navarra, Alberto Pérez Mediavilla, at the framework of the Science Weeks.

According to him, "the challenge of current and future researchers is to be able to identify the most basic biological processes that are affected, in order to design chemical molecules capable of becoming effective drugs that slow down the neurodegenerative cascade and even recover some of the damage caused".

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly and occurs because little by little a group of neurons are unable to effectively perform basic cellular processes that allow the neuron to respond to adverse situations. The goal for a basic researcher in this field, in the expert's opinion, "should be aimed at identifying these processes, verifying that these alterations also occur in the neurons of a sick person and designing a pharmacological strategy that restores the lost capacities".

Pérez Mediavilla, who recommends healthy habits and the internship of physical and intellectual exercise to favor neuronal communication, considers that medical advances in diseases for which there is currently no cure will only occur if there are people well prepared in biology, Biochemistry and pharmacy, and that the future of translational medicine lies in the partnership of multidisciplinary teams.