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Therapy inducing self-repair of nerves to help Alzheimer’

ive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease, glutamate, an amino acid found in high quantities in the brain, is thought to accumulate. Glutamate, which acts as a neurotransmitter that nerves use to communicate at normal concentrations, becomes toxic at excessive levels, resulting in over stimulation of nerve cells, known as excitotoxicity, and causing excessive stress on the nerve cells eventually ending in cell death.

However, Lipton was quick to point out that the study had only been done in mice, and that a breakthrough was a long way off.

Currently, 24.3 million people are currently estimated to have dementia worldwide, with 4.6 million new cases being diagnosed each year as the population ages. By 2040 the number is predicted to have risen to 81.1 million.

The report said most people living with dementia are in the developing world, with five million in China alone. This compares with 4.8 million in Western Europe and 3.4 million in North America.

A report for Alzheimer's Disease International, published in The Lancet, said that the number of cases of dementia world-wide is likely to double every 20 years.


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