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21 settembre Giornata Mondiale dell’Alzheimer

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Il numero di persone colpite da demenza, negli anni, è destinato ad aumentare, a causa del crescente invecchiamento della popolazione. Secondo l’ultimo Rapporto Mondiale Alzheimer, questa condizione interessa al mondo 46,8 milioni di persone, una cifra che potrebbe essere destinata a raddoppiare ogni vent’anni.

A ricordare le proporzioni di questo fenomeno è la Federazione Alzheimer Italia in occasione della Giornata Mondiale Alzheimer, 21 settembre, giunta alla ventiquattresima edizione.

L’ Alzheimer, patologia neurodegenerativa, è la causa più comune di demenza, almeno il 50% dei casi è attribuibile ad esso.

E’ caratterizzato dalla perdita progressiva delle funzioni cognitive, con un interessamento iniziale dell’area della memoria fino a coinvolgere quasi tutta la corteccia cerebrale.

La federazione ha stimato che in Italia la demenza colpisca 1.241.000 persone, destinati a raggiungere 1.609.000 nel 2030 e a superare i due milioni e 200 mila nel 2050.

La ricerca è impegnata nell’individuazione di possibili terapie quantomeno per rallentarne la progressione.

Gli studi si stanno intensificando soprattutto per la diagnosi precoce, con la messa a punto di diversi esami che possano concorrere a diagnosticare la patologia il prima possibile, e per la cura.

Tra i bersagli principali ci sono le placche di beta-amiloide, la proteina tossica che si aggrega senza essere smaltita nel cervello delle persone colpite da Alzheimer. Tra gli strumenti su cui si sta concentrando la ricerca c’è un anticorpo monoclonale umano in grado di aggredire e distruggere questi aggregati.

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