It is a fact that not everybody knows a person who suffers from dementia. Therefore we refer to the movie, The Notebook to illustrate Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease.
In the romantic movie, the heroine Rachel McAdam developed Alzheimer’s disease and we all got bogged down.
This is a cruel and harsh disease, which takes our loved ones away mentally & emotionally, yet not physically when it starts.
It is also a fact that it is no longer a disorder which just affect elderly people. There is also an early or young onset dementia variant.
However, the good news is that Dr. Jawaid Ali, a Pakistani neuroscientist, residing in Switzerland now, may be the saviour. Through scientific research he might have found a breakthrough which can result in curing dementia!
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a reference to a single disorder, but it consists of a variety of injuries or diseases.
These injuries or diseases are a persistent condition which results in memory loss, affecting a person’s normal functioning as well as changing a sufferer’s personality.
Alzheimer’s disease causes over 80% of dementia which, is followed by vascular disorders as the 2nd most prevalent cause.
Other causes include, infectious diseases, injuries, frontotemporal dementia & Huntington’s disease.
In his research, Dr. Jawaid Ali starts to explain that Dementia sets in by losing your short term memory. This means you can’t recall information you saw or heard in recent times.
This is followed by losing your long term memory. This is a very bitter stage as you fail to recognize people, even including your children and family. You may also lose the ability to use appliances like a washing machine, mobile phone or microwave oven.
These incapacities can or can not co-occur with changes in your personality, whilst you can lose the ability to communicate or perform your daily tasks.
Frontotemporal dementia is associated with changes in the persona. This region of your brain is mainly responsible for the characteristics which makes everyone different & unique and define our interests, behaviour and habits.
The Science Behind It
This disease goes together with changes which are taking place at molecular level. This result in non-functioning proteins, termed neurofibrillary tangles or amyloid plaques as stated by Dr. Jawaid Ali in his research.
The breakthrough accomplishment by this Pakistani-born neuroscientist & his fellow researchers is founding the point within the pathway which is responsible for producing these malfunctioning and deteriorating proteins.
When these proteins are suppressed it will result in normal functioning proteins, particularly in the region of the brain which is responsible for memory. Thus, impeding the inception of memory loss & therefore, Dementia.
Experimenting In Mice
The brilliant Dr. Jawaid Ali made Pakistan proud by making this historical & breakthrough discovery concerning micro RNA’s which are responsible for the combination of abnormal plaques which interfere with memory loss, as well as the general functioning of a person.
What Dr. Jawaid Ali, together with his colleagues discovered, was that if certain enzymes – protein phosphatase inhibitors – are manipulated, their production can be decreased. Thus, normal Micro RNA’s would be replicated, overproduced & converted into normal proteins through conducting experiments on mice.
This occurred when the normal Micro-RNA’s were injected into the region of the brain where memory is stored. Normal proteins were now being formed instead of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques.
They made the discovery that old and senile mice were functioning just as effectively as their younger counterparts with healthy brains.
Older mice now, had the ability to learn in a similar way when compared to younger mice when learning to recognize new things.
If one can visualize that this new technology could be replicated and then used in humans.
In theory, this can mean the end of dementia! However, when it comes to using this new technology and adjusting it for humans, whilst ensuring the drugs’ safety, will actually take time.
However, the accomplishment of Dr. Ali, the Pakistani neuroscientist living in Switzerland will make Pakistan proud!
Short Biography: Dr. Jawaid Ali
Dr. Jawaid Ali graduated at Pakistan’s prestigious Aga Khan University Hospital. For pursuing his training in clinical research in the area of Neurology, he went to the USA. He attended the Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine.
This Pakistani neuroscientist who is passionate for the field of Neurology proceeded with his studies and acquired his MD-PhD degree in neuroscience in Switzerland.
Dr. Jawaid Ali’s Achievements
More than 68 papers were published in the region of neuroscience, whilst he worked extensively on memory, dementia, neurodevelopmental disorders, addiction, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), neuroepigenetics as well as neurodegenerative diseases.
He received numerous awards & honours from different academic institutions, whilst he had written 4 book chapters.
His work was published in highly renowned journals such as Science, Molecular Neurobiology, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Communications and Neuron.
Currently he holds a H-index of 16! This means that he actually owns sixteen published papers, that have been quoted a minimum of 16 different times. He is also the chairman of the MD-PhD Association of Europe.
Accomplishments Outside the Field of Science
Dr. Jawaid Ali, the Pakistani-born genius, is also an acclaimed humanitarian.
He believes that science must also be used in a wider field than only curing diseases or improving the quality of people’s life. He sees it as a means for making progress concerning world peace and ending wars.
Numerous national & international news, media & blogs featured Dr. Jawaid Ali, whilst TEDx Talks invited him as a speaker.
However, Dr. Jawaid Ali stayed humble and invited open criticism and feedback about his work. He also invited people not to be hesitant if they may require his mentorship.
Dr. Ali, despite his busy schedule, writes poetry & prose which you can find on his website. He also granted open accessibility to his articles, work & literature.
This Swiss-Pakistani genius is the type of person who wants to help people and is no hoarder.
He allows communication via his website, if you have queries concerning his work, or want to render assistance regarding his humanitarian actions trying to create a better world, without diseases!