Alzheimer's may develop in hours, study shows

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London, Feb 7 (UNI) Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia can develop over the course of a few hours, a study shows.

Scientists now claim that changes to the brain that eventually result in Alzheimer's disease can occur far more quickly than previously thought.

It is known that the brains of Alzheimer's patients become entangled with filaments of protein which build up as ''plaques''.

But until now it has not been possible to observe this deterioration in ''real time'' as it occurs within a living brain.

Scientists have now developed a laser microscope that can peer into the brain as it becomes progressively diseased with the build-up of the plaques, the Independent reported.

''Understanding the rules that govern plaque formation may lead us to ideas about how to intervene in the process, '' says lead researcher Bradley Hyman, director of the Alzheimer's unit at the Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease in Boston. The study is published in journal Nature.

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs in people over 65 years old. It afflicts 24 million people worldwide.

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