"Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. While researchers have identified a number of risk factors that are linked to dementia – including genetics, smoking, and high blood pressure – there is currently still no cure," The Conversation reports. "Part of the reason for this is because of how complicated it is to test potential Alzheimer’s drugs. In order to conduct clinical trials participants need to have symptoms. But by the time symptoms appear, it’s usually too late for treatments to have a large effect as many of their brain cells have already died." But researchers in London, Singapore, Sweden and Croatia have developed a new human cell model that can rapidly simulate the development of Alzheimer's disease in a lab. Under those conditions, they identified a gene called BACE2 that naturally can suppress the signs of Alzheimer's disease in human brain cells. In addition, they found that signs of Alzheimer's disease can potentially be detected in cells, meaning with further research in the future, it could be possible to detect the disease before it starts developing in a person's brain.

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