HOPE ON THE HORIZON NOVEMBER 26, 2018
A periodic rumination on the current news concerning dementia
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Alzheimer’s Vaccine shows promise as a treatment for the disease
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center indicate that an Alzheimer’s vaccine they are testing could cut the incidence of the disease in half.
A paper published 20 November 2018 in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy offers hope for an alternative to drugs in our search to find a cure for this cruelest of diseases. Scientists have for some time been investigating the possibility of an Alzheimer’s vaccine, but until now, tests have resulted in an autoimmune response and encephalitis in many subjects. One really exciting thing about the present study is the immunotherapy successfully targeted Alzheimer’s pathologies without the autoimmune response.
Doris Lambracht-Washington¹ and her team at the University of Texas are exploring immunization as an alternative to drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. This group of researchers is using a vaccine to generate anti-Aβ (amyloid beta) antibodies that clean away the protein deposits that cause Alzheimer’s. Their process seems to be at least as effective as the drugs currently in use an in trials, and without the side effects always present with drug use.
So far trials of the DNA Aβ42 trimer immunotherapy involved transgenic mice. And yet results revealed a 40% reduction in amyloid plaques and a 25–50% reduction of the tau protein that causes tangles.
Over one hundred years ago Alois Alzheimer first described plaques and tangles in the brain of his patient, Auguste Deter. These plaques and tangles are abnormal aggregates of proteins in the brain. Dr. Alzheimer assumed that these sticky proteins were the likely cause of the aberrant behavior she exhibited on her admission to the Frankfurt hospital in which he worked.
Plaques and tangles are the hallmark of the disease named for the man who first described them. They are always present in abnormal amounts in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
In spite of the medical advances we have seen over the last century, we seem to be no closer to understanding or curing the disease than was Dr Alzheimer.
We know that mice studies often do not translate well to human subjects, but sometimes they do. The team at UT predict that, based on the results of their early animal tests, human trials will result in a significant reduction of both amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles and significantly reduce associated cognitive decline.
The current study is similar to many of the drug trials we have reported on in the past in that it assumes that ridding the brain of the protein buildups will at least lessen the effects of the disease. The approach differs in that it hopes, through immunization rather than drug therapy, to stimulate the body’s natural systems to clear the brain of the offending accumulations.
This is not the first time that potential Alzheimer’s vaccines have been tested. Unfortunately, many previous tests using an active immunization therapy caused autoimmune inflammation, resulting in encephalitis in as many as 6% of the subjects.
Alzheimer’s may soon be treated with HIV drugs
Medical News Today
New research finds that an HIV enzyme plays a crucial role in driving Alzheimer’s-related brain pathology by altering the APP gene. The findings warrant “immediate clinical evaluation of HIV antiretroviral therapies in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” say the authors of the study.
Could Managing Cholesterol Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Anti Aging News
APOE genes encode apolipoprotein E proteins, in combination with fats or lipid this protein forms lipoprotein molecules, which play roles in transportation of cholesterol and other types of fat through the bloodstream; meaning there is an establish link between cholesterol and AD. New research has uncovered many other genes that connect risk of AD with risk of cardiovascular disease.
I don’t see how the writer makes the jump from lipoprotein in the bloodstream to connecting AD and cardiovascular disease. Especially in light of so much emerging evidence of a reverse correlation between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Study: High Cholesterol Makes You Live Longer.
Alzheimer’s Added as Qualifier for Medical Marijuana
The Associated Press
Minnesota health officials are adding Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition to get medical marijuana.Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says there is “some evidence” that marijuana improves the mood, sleep and behavior of people with Alzheimer’s.
Le Sueur company’s device could help detect Alzheimer’s earlier
Mankato Free Press
LE SUEUR — A Le Sueur company is nearing initial clinical trials to test whether its device in development could detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier. “The Alzheimer’s device is designed to test someone’s sense of smell, as declining olfactory function is considered an early sign of Alzheimer’s”
Tasty and healthy: scientists have named the best diet for the brain
The Koz Post (blog)
Scientists during years of research trying to determine the best diet that … that undergoes neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Curcumin Showing Promise In Alzheimer’s Research
Anti Aging News
Projections suggest that with the oncoming silver tsunami 14 million adults will be affected by Alzheimer’s disease by 2050 in the USA alone.
How Coffee May Protect Brain Health: A New Study Suggests The Benefits Aren’t Just From Caffeine
The analysis focused on how the compounds interact with amyloid beta and tau, the toxic proteins linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Study: More exercise linked to delayed onset of Alzheimer’s
Exercise reduces the risk of falls by improving strength and balance. Here’s another compelling reason to make time for exercise: a recent study found exercise can help to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s …
Support of caregivers is vital for Alzheimer’s, dementia patients
Tullahoma News and Guardian
It is a time to raise awareness for a disease that has no cure and draw attention to the urgent need for continued research. Alzheimer’s and other forms …
Is an Alzheimer’ vaccine on the horizon?
- Roger N. Rosenberg, Min Fu and Doris Lambracht-Washington(20 November 2018). Active full-length DNA Aβ42 immunization in 3xTg-AD mice reduces not only amyloid deposition but also tau pathology. Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy201810:115. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13195-018-0441-4
- Eric R. Siemers, et. al. (2012). Safety and biomarker effects of solanezumab in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association;July 2012, Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 261–271.
- Study showing for the first time that an active DNA Aβ42immunization reduced both beta amyloid and tau protein in the brains of transgenic mice without the autoimmune inflammation response present in earlier vaccine trials.
- Showed no inflamation response to an anti-β-amyloid (Aβ) antibody, in human subjects with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
- We see smiles and feel relieved that, even though we can’t make her well, we can make her comfortable and content without resorting to brain fogging drugs or, worse, restraints. Carla