August 9, 2012 |
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. Amid the generally discouraging news about drugs that can slow or reverse the progress of Alzheimer's disease, a new study is a faint glimmer of hope: In mice whose brains are clogged with the protein deposits that characterize Alzheimer's, a drug called bexarotene substantially reversed key signs of dementia and reduced by half the telltale protein deposits of the disease....
July 11, 2012 |
Researchers have found the first gene mutation that protects against Alzheimer's disease, a finding that supports a now-controversial theory about the cause of the disease and that could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to treat the disorder. The gene mutation also protects against normal dementia of aging, suggesting that the two diseases have mechanisms in common. Alzheimer's affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, and the prevalence increases with age: 13% of those older than 65 and 45% of those over the age of 85 have it. The disease is characterized by the buildup in the brain of particles called amyloid plaque, which are composed of a protein called amyloid beta.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2012 |
"Hello Mr. Lopez, I would very much like to meet with you. I think you will find that I have some pertinent things to say. " The email was from Dr. Arthur Rivin, 89, professor emeritus of medicine at UCLA. Rivin said he had been diagnosed in September 2009 with Alzheimer's disease, but then, something rare and amazing had happened. Using a program of therapy he developed himself, he claimed, he was now greatly improved. If I took the time to meet with him and hear all about it, Rivin suggested, together "we will do something big!"
June 29, 2012 |
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. Who hasn't heard of mad cow disease? Maybe there are a lot more diseases like that than we recognize -- such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's -- that are caused by a rogue, mis-folded piece of protein that seeds other bits of protein to mis-fold as well. So argues Stanley Prusiner, a UC San Francisco professor, in a commentary in the journal Science. Prusiner won a Nobel Prize for finding that a class of neurodegenerative diseases (of which mad cow is one)
May 15, 2012 |
Asserting "we are at an exceptional moment" in the hunt for an Alzheimer'sdiseasetreatment, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins on Tuesday promised a raft of new research aimed at stopping and reversing the memory-robbing disorder by the year 2025. In unveiling a first-ever "national strategy" on Alzheimer's disease, Collins launched several new projects and clinical trials--including a whole-genome sequencing effort to identify genes that confer vulnerability to--or protection against-- Alzheimer's, and a trial to explore whether an inhaled form of insulin will slow progression of the disease.
April 18, 2012 |
Even if you're 80 or older, it's not too late for daily exercise to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. And if hitting the gym isn't quite your style, here's more good news: You can also benefit by doing housework, researchers say. Plenty of research has suggested that people who make a habit of exercising are less likely to get Alzheimer's, though scientists aren't sure how to explain the link. Other activities that have been correlated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer's include engaging one's brain in mentally stimulating activities, spending time in social groups and eating a healthful diet, according to the National Institute on Aging . The new study , published in the journal Neurology, involved 716 people who were part of the Memory and Aging Project at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
April 16, 2012 |
No one wants to hear that he or she has Alzheimer's disease. But if the beta-amyloid plaques that are the disorder's key physical hallmark could be detected before memory loss and cognitive troubles were evident to all, would you want to know? And since no treatment currently works to stem the inexorable progress ofAlzheimer's, who would pay for a costly test to detect it early -- and why? Those questions are no longer hypothetical. Last week, the FDA approved an agent called Florbetapir F 18 injection (to be marketed as Amyvid)
March 22, 2012 |
Watching Alzheimer's disease steal away the memory, talents and very selves of its victims is hard enough for the people who love them. Now, a new pill formulated by a respected pharmaceutical company and approved by the Food and Drug Administration will do little to help most patients and will bring misery to some, say two medical investigators. The drug, Aricept 23 mg, is no more effective on the whole than the disappointing ones already on the market - but is more likely to cause gastrointestinal problems, wrote Drs. Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz of Dartmouth Medical College in an article published Thursday in the medical journal BMJ. The new formulation was devised to serve commercial objectives, they say, and was approved despite a poor showing in company-sponsored tests.
March 5, 2012 |
The congressional legislators who oversee the Food and Drug Administration and control the nation's coffers have shown again that they neither understand drug development nor the regulatory problems that plague it. In February, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski(D-Md.) unveiled a bipartisan bill intended to spur innovation in research and drug development for chronic, costly health conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. According to the press release, the bill will invest "in public-private partnerships to ensure scientists and researchers are able to develop new safe and effective drugs," shrink product development timelines, increase the number of drugs in the development pipeline and expedite the FDA review process.
February 14, 2012 |
People who have trouble sleeping may be at higher risk of developing memory problems, new research shows. People who woke frequently in the night had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to work to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in New Orleans in April. Other research has shown a link between impaired sleep and multiple-personality disorder , as well as other forms of dissociation. And research in mice has shown that disrupted sleep can actually cause an increase in the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain -- buildup that happens years before any outward symptoms of Alzheimer's occur.