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Researchers believe that they have uncovered the reason that Alzheimer’s patients have ‘spells’ of increased confusion as their disease progresses to the latter stage. Using genetically engineered mice, that have Alzheimer’s disease, researchers discovered they suffer from ‘silent’ seizures. It is the ‘silent’ seizures that they suspect are the reason for the increased ‘spells’ of confusion experienced by advanced Alzheimer’s patients.

The reason for the seizures is thought to be the accumulation of the protein amyloid beta. Traditional thinking was  that abnormal activity in Alzheimer’s patients was caused by the degeneration of nerve cells. This latest study suggest that it may be the protein amyloid beta itself.

If researchers can find a way to prevent or reverse the ‘silent’ seizures it might be possible to prevent or even reverse cognitive impairments introduced by the high levels of amyloid beta.

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