Healthy Living

Roundworms May Be the Answer to Alzheimer's Disease

Roundworms May Be the Answer to Alzheimer's Disease

Whenever someone looks ups roundworms, vivid photos of small and slender worms pop up. These are generally considered as parasites that live off the intestines of their host, and can be contracted by the infected stool of people or animals.

When roundworms are found, it is generally implied that the person has either an infection or poor hygiene. Roundworms have been found to cause asthma, abdominal pain, abscess, blood-tinged sputum, coughing, diarrhea, fever, muscle pains, lymphedema, and shortness of breath. But, researchers have found that roundworms may hold some good qualities that may actually help Alzheimer's patients.

The good thing about roundworms: Their ability to smell

You may be wondering how roundworms could have anything good. However, Newsweek published an article revealing that the next medical breakthrough can actually come from roundworms. According to new studies, roundworms have the ability to smell danger that can help treat Alzheimer's disease.

Turns out, these worms have a strong capability to sniff out danger whenever it's near. The surprising thing about these worms is that they can activate cellular defenses when they anticipate danger, which allows them to survive.

So, not all roundworms are parasitic. Some can be beneficial too, especially, in the fields of research.

The University of Iowa is behind this groundbreaking, and strange, discovery

Two groups of roundworms were obtained by several scientists at the University of Iowa. One group was labeled experimental and the second group was called the control group. One of the groups of roundworms was exposed to the smell of harmful bacteria, which caused the bacteria to show their stress response and its strong defenses. The harmful bacteria were then placed in both groups, and the two groups did not show the same response when exposed to the bacteria.

Based on their experiment, which was published in the journal of Science Translational Medicine, those roundworms that were exposed initially to the smell of harmful bacteria prepared a so-called “molecular chaperones”. These molecular chaperones are said to be proteins that remarkably remove toxins in cells. It is also found to repair toxic proteins that are in the cell. With the interaction of harmful bacteria, it has a better chance of survival. Compared to the roundworms that had not been cautioned by the odor of the harmful bacteria, the first group had a high chance of fighting the bacteria and surviving from it.