Alzheimer's Research Update 7-17-13

Alzheimer's Treatment

 

Science Daily January 9 reports on positive results from an experimental treatment which appears to bring about a reversal of Alzheimer's symptoms. The study was reported in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. Marked improvement was achieved withing moments of the administration of a therapeutic molecule. If this promising development proves to be effective it will of major importance to millions who are afflicted by this previously virtually undreatable condition.

The experimental treatment focuses on a substance that regulates the brain's transmission of neural impulses in the brain. When this soluble protein or cytokine TNF is present in excessive concentration it interferes with the brain's neural functioning. The experimental breakthrough was achieved by the injection of an anti-TNF therapeutic called etanercept (trade name Enbrel). Enbrel or etanercept is currently available and approved for treatment of other conditions. Here's a link to the Science Daily report.


COMMENT From NYT: "New diagnostic tests are leading to a moral dilemma. Since there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s, is it a good thing to tell people, years earlier, that they have this progressive degenerative brain disease or have a good chance of getting it?" 12-17-10

Enbrel

Enbrel is currently FDA approved for rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthrytis, alkylosing spondilitis and chronic plaque psoriasis. The drug is quite expensive and can have serious side effects. More linked below.

Comments 38 comments

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

Ralph a most valuable informative hub.

We have recently had a very close friend die of Alzheimer's. He really died two years before and it was an harrowing time, for his wife and family. I looked after him on a Friday to allow his wife to out with val for four hours. It was a blessed relief when he died literally.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Thanks! This could be big if the experimental results prove true and can be translated in to treatment for Alzheimer's sufferers.


S. A. Holt profile image

S. A. Holt 8 years ago


stanskill profile image

stanskill 8 years ago from Greensburg, PA

This is good news.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 8 years ago

Excellent info - Not quite as controversial as I like to go for hehe, but great stuff. I worked in a hospital in the US and in the nurses office they had a sign on the wall, which has since become one of my favorites:

"They tell you that when you get old, you will lose your mind - What they don't tell you is - You won't miss it."


Betty Jo Petty profile image

Betty Jo Petty 8 years ago from Arkansas, U.S.A.

My grandmother had Alzheimer's.  She was in a nursing home the last time I saw her.  Before that, my sister had cared for her, and had some problems.  Things that were totally uncharacteristic of my strict but wonderful grandmother.  She cared for me and my brother after my mother died too early. I love the thought of a Cure. bjp


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago Author

Alzheimer's patients can become quite hard to deal with.


unknown 8 years ago

testing


Vetle 7 years ago

I may have alzheimers

but at least I don't have alzheimers


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago Author

Ha! How about E.D.?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

About 1 million people a year begin a mental slide called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, with forgetfulness that's somewhere between healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease. Now this gray zone is undergoing an evolution, with growing study of techniques to help predict which MCI patients may be on a path to later dementia — and who shouldn't worry.

Many doctors aren't waiting. A study published in the journal Neurology last week found 70 percent of neurologists say they prescribe Alzheimer's medications to at least some of their MCI patients, hoping the drugs will slow their decline. That's a startling number considering there's no proof yet the drugs can do that even if doctors knew who's most at risk.

So, it's becoming more and more clear that Alzheimer's starts ravaging the brain at least a decade before memory problems appear. Thus stalling it may require treating the earliest symptoms, just as preventing a stroke begins with treating high blood pressure.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/health/research/...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

In yet another setback in efforts to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Eli Lilly & Company announced on Tuesday that it had halted development of an experimental treatment after the compound actually made patients worse in two late-stage clinical trials.

NYTimes 8-16-10


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

The failure of a promising Alzheimer’s drug in clinical trials highlights the gap between diagnosis — where real progress has recently been made — and treatment of the disease.

It was not just that the drug, made by Eli Lilly, did not work — maybe that could be explained by saying the patients’ illness was too far advanced when they received it. It was that the drug actually made them worse, the company said. And the larger the dose they took, the worse were patients’ symptoms of memory loss and inability to care for themselves. Not only that, the drug also increased the risk of skin cancer.

So when Lilly announced on Tuesday that it was ending its large clinical trials of that drug, semagacestat, researchers were dismayed.

ttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/health/19alzheimers.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=gina kolata&st=cse


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

In a year when news about Alzheimer’s disease seems to whipsaw between encouraging and disheartening, a new discovery by an 84-year-old scientist has illuminated a new direction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/health/research/...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

The new diagnostic tests are leading to a moral dilemma. Since there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s, is it a good thing to tell people, years earlier, that they have this progressive degenerative brain disease or have a good chance of getting it?

“I am grappling with that issue,” Dr. Rafii said. “I give them the diagnosis — we are getting pretty good at diagnosis now. But it’s challenging because what do we do then?”


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Thank you for this well-written hub. Alzheimer's affected both of my maternal grandmother's, so needless to say, everything about the illness interests me.

voted up/very useful


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

"The two largest studies of Alzheimers disease led to the discovery of five genes that provide intriguing new clues to why it strikes and how it progresses."

Gina Kolata report in the NYTimes 4-3-11 "Alzheimers studies show genetic links"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/health/04alzheim...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Pat Summitt, the Tennessee womens basketball coach, said she hoped to manage the disease and planned to coach in the coming season.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/sports/ncaabaske...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

A small pilot study has found preliminary evidence that squirting insulin deep into the nose where it travels to the brain might hold early Alzheimer’s disease at bay, researchers said on Monday.

It comes at a time when there are no effective ways to prevent or delay the progress of Alzheimer’s.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/health/research/...


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I will have to link this to my dementia hub when I get back to my computer. Great update.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Faulty Protein is Like a Virus in Alzheimers, Studies Find - NYTimes.com

Discovery in studies of mice solves a mystery surrounding the disease’s grim march and has immediate implications for developing treatments, researchers said. Instead of viruses or bacteria, what is being spread is a distorted protein known as tau.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Faulty Protein is Like a Virus in Alzheimers, Studies Find - NYTimes.com

Discovery in studies of mice solves a mystery surrounding the disease’s grim march and has immediate implications for developing treatments, researchers said. Instead of viruses or bacteria, what is being spread is a distorted protein known as tau.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

6-10-12NYTimesMagazine: "How Do You Live Knowing You Might Have an Alzheimer’s Gene?" by Gina Kolata

An Alzheimer’s Gene - One Family’s Saga - NYTimes.com

One family with a genetic mutation is helping scientists find a cure.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

7-16-12WallStreetJournal--For Alzheimer's a Fork in the Road

For Alzheimer's, a Fork in the Road - WSJ.com

"This is a watershed year" for Alzheimer's research, said Norman Relkin, a neurologist and neuroscientist at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who isn't involved with any of these trials.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

7-17-12NYTimes Science--Cognitive Decline Linked to Changes in Walking Gait

Signs of Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer’s Are Seen in Gait - NYTimes.com

Five studies presented this month provide striking evidence that when a person’s walk gets slower or becomes more variable or less controlled, his cognitive function is also suffering.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

Thanks Ralph, because that makes sense!


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

Tnx, Patty. I value your opinion.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 4 years ago Author

7-18-12NYTimes--Small Trial Hints Drug Can Slow Alzheimer's

Trial Hints Baxter’s Gammagard Can Slow Alzheimer’s - NYTimes.com

Some Alzheimer’s patients who used the therapy, already approved for immune disorders, showed no worsening of symptoms for three years.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

11-9-12WallStreetJournal "An Outcast Among Peers Gains Traction on Alzheimer's Cure" by Jeanne Whalen

An Outcast Among Peers Gains Traction on Alzheimer's Cure - WSJ.com

Dr. Claude Wischik has embraced an idea that, if he is right, could ultimately spin Alzheimer's research on its heels—and raise new hopes for the roughly 36 million people world-wide afflicted with Alzheimer's or dementia.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

2-12-13NYTimes--"Straining to Hear and Fend off Dementia"

Straining to Hear and Fend Off Dementia - NYTimes.com

There is no clear explanation why, but compared with individuals with normal hearing, those with hearing loss have an increased risk of developing dementia. Read more...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

Wall Street Journal--Meet Dr. Sid Gilman, Alzheimer's Researcher at University of Michigan Medical School Who Pleaded Guilty to Insider Trading Violations Recen

Meet the Doctor in the Middle of the Newest Insider-Trading Case - Law Blog - WSJ

An alleged $276 million insider-trading scheme involving a former portfolio manager at a unit of SAC Capital Advisors LP has also ensnared a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. Sid Gilman.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

3-18-13NYTimes EDITORIAL "Drugs for Early Stage Alzheimer's"

Drugs for Early-Stage Alzheimer’s - NYTimes.com

A proposal to ease testing requirements is seductive but raises concerns about safety.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

4-3-13NYTimes--Dementia Care Costs Are Soaring

Dementia Care Costs Are Soaring, Study Finds - NYTimes.com

The number of people with dementia and the cost of caring for them will more than double in 25 years, rising at a rate uncommon for a chronic disease, new academic research found.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

5-7-13NYTimes "Promising Alzheimer's Treatment Fails, Baxter Says"

Baxter, a Drug Maker, Says Its New Alzheimer’s Treatment Has Failed - NYTimes.com

Baxter International said that the immunoglobulin therapy did not significantly arrest the decline in either cognition or daily functioning when compared with a placebo.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

4-29-13BloombergBusinessWeek "The Killer Cost of Alzheimer's"

Alzheimer's: The Costliest Killer - Businessweek

"If nothing is done, Alzheimer's will become the 'financial sinkhole of the 21st century,' says gerontologist Ken Dichtwald, chief executive officer of Age Wave, a consulting firm."


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago Author

7-17-13NYTimes--"Looking for Early Symptoms of Dementia?--Ask the Paitent"

Looking for Early Signs of Dementia? Ask the Patient - NYTimes.com

Doctors are starting to pay more attention to patients who say they are experiencing cognitive problems but do not yet show a measurable decline.

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