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2008-10-20 11:24:30


Hamburg, Germany - A new enzyme-blocking method is being termed a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, according to a team of German researchers.

After 10 years of research, the scientists at the Probiodrug bio-pharmaceutical company in Halle, Germany, came up with a method which almost stops the formation of protein deposits which have been associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The enzyme is largely responsible for a small, but very harmful part of the protein deposits called Glutaminyl Cyclase, according to the statement which quoted Hans-Ulrich Demuth and his team at the eastern Germany bio-tech firm Probiodrug.



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2009-12-22 11:51:39


Rocketboom Tech's Ellie Rountree speaks with Alvaro Fernandez, Founder of SharpBrains, to learn more about the neurology of our brains and cognitive training.


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2009-12-25 17:35:53


US researchers studied 3,020 people aged 65 and over for a study published in Neurology.

Those who had Alzheimer's were found to be 69 percent less likely to develop cancer over the following five years.

In turn, those with cancer turned out to be 43 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's within eight years.

But researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis say more work is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn, adding that the findings also only seemed to apply to white people.

Lead researcher Dr Catherine Roe said that discovering the links between the two conditions may help to open up new avenues for possible treatments.

Alzheimer's disease and cancer are both characterised by abnormal, but opposing, cellular behaviour," said Roe. "In Alzheimer's disease, excessive cell death occurs, whereas cancer is characterised by excessive cell growth… there are certain molecular pathways that may influence both Alzheimer's disease and cancer.




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2010-08-10 09:57:29


Spinal-Fluid Test Is Found to Predict Alzheimer’s



Researchers report that a spinal fluid test can be 100 percent accurate in identifying patients with significant memory loss who are on their way to developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s, medical experts now agree, starts a decade or more before people have symptoms. And by the time there are symptoms, it may be too late to save the brain. So the hope is to find good ways to identify people who are getting the disease, and use those people as subjects in studies to see how long it takes for symptoms to occur and in studies of drugs that may slow or stop the disease.

Researchers are finding simple and accurate ways to detect Alzheimer’s long before there are definite symptoms. In addition to spinal fluid tests they also have new PET scans of the brain that show the telltale amyloid plaques that are a unique feature of the disease. And they are testing hundreds of new drugs that, they hope, might change the course of the relentless brain cell death that robs people of their memories and abilities to think and reason.



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2011-03-01 02:52:02


Silk moth's antenna inspires new nanotech tool with applications in Alzheimer's research


By mimicking the structure of the silk moth's antenna, University of Michigan researchers led the development of a better nanopore---a tiny tunnel-shaped tool that could advance understanding of a class of neurodegenerative diseases that includes Alzheimer's.

Nanopores---essentially holes drilled in a silicon chip---are miniscule measurement devices that enable the study of single molecules or proteins. Even today's best nanopores clog easily, so the technology hasn't been widely adopted in the lab. Improved versions are expected to be major boons for faster, cheaper DNA sequencing and protein analysis.

The team engineered an oily coating that traps and smoothly transports molecules of interest through nanopores. The coating also allows researchers to adjust the size of the pore with close-to-atomic precision.


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2011-08-21 15:52:22





A Drink or Two a Day May Lower the Risk of Alzheimer's



A new review finds that moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of memory problems and Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
The authors analyzed results from 143 studies, dating back to 1977, which included 365,000 participants in 19 countries.

The studies compared non-drinkers to drinkers: 74 of the studies looked at the risk of dementia, while the other 69 focused on memory problems.

The review found that moderate drinkers were 23% less likely than teetotalers to develop signs of memory problems or Alzheimer's. That effect was significant in 14 of the 19 countries, including the U.S.


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2011-09-16 16:13:10


Watch as Dr. Kirby presents an overview of the growing problem of dementia. Discover the risk factors associated with memory loss and learn how to reduce your odds of getting dementia or Alzheimer's.


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2011-10-31 18:57:20


Sixty percent of Alzheimer’s patients will wander away from home at some point over the course of the disease. Finding them quickly is critical as the risk of death or injury goes up considerably after 24 hours.

GTX Corporation and Aetrex Worldwide are two companies that are now collaborating to release a shoe on Monday, embedded with GPS to track its wearer’s whereabouts. It sort of resembles the walking shoes often worn by the elderly.

“For years we’ve looked for things like this that would help is find somebody quickly when they get lost,” Gay said.

The shoes join a growing list of GPS embedded products including; wristwatches, bracelets, and other products that help wandering people with dementia.


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2011-11-30 12:49:33


11 Myths About Alzheimer's Disease

The many myths surrounding Alzheimer's disease can make it harder for caregivers and patients to develop a plan. The facts aren't easy to accept, but they will better prepare you for the disease's progression.


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2011-12-01 19:52:06



It Could Be Old Age, or It Could Be Low B12


A workup at a memory clinic resulted in a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease, and Ms. Katz was prescribed Aricept, which Ms. Atkins said seemed to make matters worse. But the clinic also tested Ms. Katz’s blood level of vitamin B12. It was well below normal, and her doctor thought that could be contributing to her symptoms.

Weekly B12 injections were begun. “Soon afterward, she became less agitated, less confused and her memory was much better,” said Ms. Atkins. “I felt I had my mother back, and she feels a lot better, too.”

It is an important question. As we age, our ability to absorb B12 from food declines, and often so does our consumption of foods rich in this vitamin. A B12 deficiency can creep up without warning and cause a host of confusing symptoms that are likely to be misdiagnosed or ascribed to aging.


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2012-02-29 12:14:21


Slowing or preventing the development of Alzheimer's disease, a fatal brain condition expected to hit one in 85 people globally by 2050, may be as simple as ensuring a brain protein's sugar levels are maintained.

The research team found that mice given the inhibitor had fewer clumps of Tau and maintained healthier brains.

"This work shows targeting the enzyme O-GlcNAcase with inhibitors is a new potential approach to treating Alzheimer's," says Vocadlo. "This is vital since to date there are no treatments to slow its progression.

"A lot of effort is needed to tackle this disease and different approaches should be pursued to maximize the chance of successfully fighting it. In the short term, we need to develop better inhibitors of the enzyme and test them in mice. Once we have better inhibitors, they can be clinically tested.


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2012-04-12 16:57:16


A new type of brain scan could potentially rule out the possibility of a patient developing Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Jon LaPook reports.


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2012-05-16 18:00:00


New Drug Trial Seeks to Stop Alzheimer’s Before It Starts


In a clinical trial that could lead to treatments that prevent Alzheimer’s, people who are genetically guaranteed to develop the disease — but who do not yet have any symptoms — will for the first time be given a drug intended to stop it, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Experts say the study will be one of the few ever conducted to test prevention treatments for any genetically predestined disease. For Alzheimer’s, the trial is unprecedented, the first to focus on people who are cognitively normal but at very high risk for Alzheimer’s disease, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

Most participants will come from the world’s largest family to experience Alzheimer’s, an extended clan of 5,000 people who live in Medellín, Colombia, and remote mountain villages outside that city. Family members with a specific genetic mutation begin showing cognitive impairment around age 45, and full dementia around age 51, debilitated in their prime working years as their memories fade and the disease quickly assaults their ability to move, eat, speak and communicate.


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2012-06-25 21:22:30



Does Fish Oil Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?


A meta-analysis of trials of fish oil capsules or margarine in the prevention of cognitive decline has just been published in, or on, the Cochrane Library, a website devoted to examining the evidence for (or of course against) the use of drugs and medical procedures in the prevention and treatment of illnesses. The quality of the analyses published in, or on, the Cochrane Library is generally accepted as the best possible.

The authors aggregated the results of three trials that met their methodological criteria. The trials had to be double-blind and placebo-controlled, and involved 3,536 participants who were cognitively unimpaired and over the age of 60. Subjects took fish oil capsules or margarine (or placebo) for 6, 20 or 40 months.

There was no evidence that fish oils prevented cognitive decline as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination, the measuring instrument usually used in such trials, and other simple tests. For the moment, nutritionists recommend the consumption of fish twice a week, including of oily fish — salmon, herrings, mackerel or sardines — at least once a week.


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2012-07-03 12:16:24


DNA Mapping Key in Alzheimer's Study


Working with $2 million in new grants to be announced this week, the researchers for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative will, for the first time, start mapping the DNA of 800 participants in a study attempting to find the root causes of memory loss. The goal is to see if physical changes from Alzheimer’s can be matched to genetic disparities, which can then be compared with findings from healthy people like Bunnell.

If there’s ever to be progress in the discovery of the fundamentals that lead to Alzheimer’s, this is the way to do it, said Aubrey Milunsky, director of the Boston University Center for Human Genetics, which isn’t involved in the research.

The research initiative, funded by the U.S. government, nonprofit groups, and private industry, began tracking physical and mental changes in people ages 60 and older in 2004. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease that destroys brain cells and makes it difficult for patients to think, remember, and function. It afflicts 5.1 million Americans, a number that may grow to 16 million by 2050, according to the National Institutes of Health.


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2012-07-12 12:07:05


Two decades ago, researchers began discovering rare gene mutations that cause Alzheimer's disease in everyone who inherits them. Now, they have found the opposite: a mutation that prevents the devastating brain disorder. The protective mutation is also very rare -- it is not the reason most people do not develop Alzheimer's.

But what intrigues researchers is how it protects the brain. It does the reverse of what the mutations that cause Alzheimer's do. Those mutations lead to excessive amounts of a normal substance, beta amyloid, in the brain. The protective mutation slows beta amyloid production, so people make much less.

The discovery, published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, provides evidence that beta amyloid buildup is a driving force in the destructive brain disease. It also bolsters the hopes of drug companies that have developed drugs to reduce amyloid levels with the expectation that they might alter the course of the disease or even prevent it.

A second study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, involved people with DNA that predisposed them to the disease before age 60. That research found changes in spinal fluid 25 years before symptoms began and brain volume differences 15 years earlier.

Together, the reports may lay groundwork letting scientists identify when it may be best to start treating patients and, perhaps, hold off the disease.


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2012-07-17 19:09:56



Experimental Alzheimer's drug Gammagard may stall memory decline, small study suggests



Researchers are reporting for the first time that a treatment might help prevent Alzheimer's disease from getting worse for as much as three years, but caution that evidence is preliminary and the effect has been seen in a very small amount of patients.
The treatment is Gammagard, made by Baxter International Inc. Doctors say that four patients who received the highest dose in early testing showed no decline on memory and cognition tests three years later. A bigger, more comprehensive study of the treatment will give results within a year.



The drug is a collection of antibodies from pooled blood donations given as infusions every two weeks. These antibodies may help clear the sticky plaque that clogs patients' brains.


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2013-10-10 20:06:26



The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the turning point in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

David Allsop, professor of neuroscience at Lancaster University described the results as "very dramatic and highly encouraging" but cautioned that more research was needed to see how the findings would apply to diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Dr Eric Karran, the director of research at the charity Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Targeting a mechanism relevant to a number of neurodegenerative diseases could yield a single drug with wide-reaching benefits, but this compound is still at an early stage.

"It will be important for these findings to be repeated and tested in models of other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease."


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