Showing posts with label Alzheimer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alzheimer. Show all posts

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Science without borders is needed to solve the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders

Unpublished research at Symposium developed to fast-track prevention, together with treatment as well as cure for the unbearable disease affecting 1 in 3 seniors has been shared by 16 of the top Alzheimer’s scientists of the world.

Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Rohit Varma had welcomed the elite group to the 4th annual Zilkha symposium on Alzheimer Disease & Related Disorders. Varma had stated that he is delighted to host this conference that tends to bring together the best and the brightest physician-scientists from across the globe for studying new, basic, translational as well as clinical efforts in the field of Alzheimer’s and related neurodegenerative disorders.

He expects that with their wisdom, insight together with hard work they would put an end to the menace of this disease. Rudolph Tanzi of Harvard University, David Holtzman – Washington University, John Trojanowski and Virginia Man-Yee Lee - University of Pennsylvania, Kaj Blennow – University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Roger Nitsche – University of Zurich, Christer Betsholtz – Uppsala Universitet in Sweden and Ronald Petersen – Mayo Clinic college of Medicine are said to be some of the researchers that have joined Keck School of Medicine scientists Berislav Zlokovic and Paul Aisen in presenting their new discoveries.

Symptoms – 15 Years After Sticky Amyloid Proteins – Dull the Brain

According to Aisen, director of the USC Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute that leads eight clinical trials on the disease, states that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s tends to appear around 15 years after sticky amyloid proteins seem to dull the brain.

Quoting data from the on-going Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study, Aisen had informed that around 80% of the participants having amyloid deposits in their brain but no symptoms of Alzheimer’s have developed symptoms of the disease within the next nine years.

Relatively only about 20% of the people devoid of amyloid deposits had later on developed related symptoms. He further added that he was of the opinion that they needed to carry this study further till they would feel that almost everyone with elevated amyloid would progress to symptomatic AD.

 Moreover it seemed reasonable to anticipate that they tend to start the trashy of anti-amyloid, 15 years prior to the expected onset of symptoms, they would be capable of preventing the development of clinical Alzheimer’s disease. In order to the trace the development of the disease over a period of time, Aisen has been enrolling healthy individuals having no symptoms of Alzheimer’s in clinical studies.

Biomarkers in Blood

In comprehending the disease and its progress would assist in the development of a `liquid bipsy’ blood test which would bring about an insight to the doctors wherein individuals could be at high risk for Alzheimer’s. In future, once the doctors tend to identify that a patient has early build-up of amyloid, they will be capable of prescribing a drug that could destroy the same.

 Thereafter, individuals could take a drug like a BACE- inhibitor in order to prevent amyloid build-up according to Aisen. Aisen had also added that doctors will ultimately be in a position of identifying people likely to develop Alzheimer’s through biomarkers found in blood draws, which will simplify preventive treatment. Director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Zlokovic had challenged the amyloid hypothesis of Aisen stating that amyloid is not ground zero for neurodegeneration.

Zlokovic had commented that he is a bit worried if they consider Alzheimer’s is exclusively amyloid-derived neurodegeneration. He would state that this is a very complex, multifactorial disease which is motivated by genetic, vascular and environmental factors that all can effect disease inception and progression. He further added that disease inception may or may not include amyloid at all.

Healthy Brain – Healthy Blood Vessels

He explained that according to latest studies, issues in brain circulation like subtle damage to the smallest brain vessels, capillaries, loss of cerebrovascular integrity as well as blood flow changes taking place early could be vital to disease progression and lead to amyloid and tau pathology.

Zlokovic has been performing pioneering research on how leaks in the vascular system of the brain, the blood-brain barrier, tend to cause a flow of issues, inclusive of amyloid build-up. Zlokovic had mentioned that health epidemic of the 21st century is age-linked small vessel disease of the brain. Small vessel disease is said to contribute to around 45% of all dementias all over the world including Alzheimer’s.

Zlokovic recently had installed as the Mary Hayley and Selim Zilkha Chair in Alzhemier’s Disease Research further commented that a healthy brain needs healthy blood vessels. The blood-brain barrier averts the entry into the brain of blood deprived toxic products, pathogens and cells. Over 70 USC researchers over a range of disciplines have been inspecting the health, societal as well as political effects and its implications of Alzheimer’s.

 Zlokovic had informed that they would be looking forward to hosting this symposium again the next year and that it is critical for top experts of Alzheimer’s to come together and share their unpublished discoveries, concept and state-of-the art approaches in order that scientific barriers are eliminated and all tend to work together in arresting and reversing this devastating disease.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

'Flashing light therapy' for Alzheimer

'Flashing light therapy' for Alzheimer

Flashing Light Therapy – Fight Off Alzheimer’s

As per US scientists, a flashing light therapy could be beneficial in fighting off Alzheimer’s after conducting trials on mice. The researchers observed that there is a possibility to reduce the levels of beta amyloid plaque in the visual cortex typical to Alzheimer’s disease in mouse.

Their discovery had been reproduced in the journal `Nature’ wherein Li-Huei Tsai and his team informed that the research can be carried further to check if this method could be utilised in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients.

 The method seems to hold a lot of potential since it is accessible and non-invasive. The team at Massachusetts observed that shining a strobe light into the eyes of rodent encouraged the protective cells to eat up the harmful proteins which tend to amass in the brain in the case of dementia.

Accumulation of beta amyloid protein is said to be one of the earliest changes in the brain in the case of Alzheimer’s disease. It tends to cluster together forming sticky plaques and is said to cause nerve cell death together with memory loss. Researchers have been looking for various options of preventing plaque formation by using drugs though the result proved to be disappointing.

Rate of Flashes – 40 Per Second

However Dr Li-Huei Tsai and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have now discovered another option of treating the disease by using light.The precise rate of flashes is said to be 40 per second which is only a perceptible flicker, four times as fast as a disco strobe.

The mice that they had researched had been genetically engineered to have Alzheimer’s kind damage in their brain, as per Nature journal reports. When they had been placed before the flashing light for about an hour, it had led to a evident reduction in beta amyloid over the following 12 to 24 hours in the areas of the brain which handle vision. Performing this activity on a daily basis for a week gave rise to even better decline. Similarly, light stimulation directly to the area of the brain which tends to deal with memory of hippocampus resulted in decline of beta amyloid.

Clearing Beta Amyloid/Preventing Plaques

The researchers have informed that the light is beneficial by recruiting the help of resident immune cells known as microglia which are scavenger that eat and clear harmful or threatening pathogen and in this case, the beta amyloid. It is expected that clearing of the beta amyloid and preventing more plaques from developing could stop Alzheimer’s and its symptoms.

Researchers state that this method could be utilised in testing humans. Permission has already been sought from the US regulator, the Food and Drugs Administration wherein they have set up a commercial company in developing the technology. The scientists have informed that in the future, people could wear exceptional goggles and sit before a light emitting device in order to get a therapeutic dose of the strobe light which could be completely painless as well as non-invasive.

A very low intensity, very ambient soft light could be used. They further informed that the set-up is not offensive at all, emphasising that it should be safe and would not cause epilepsy for those who tend to be vulnerable.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Alzheimer's Drug Study Gives 'Tantalising' Results

A study in nature

Scientists say that a treatment that puts an end to the specific protein plagues that gradually accumulate or increase in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has managed to show some tantalising ability. Experts continue to remain vigilant as the drug Aducanumab, is yet in the primary stages of process. However, a study in Nature has revealed that it is completely safe and implies that it puts memory decline to a standstill. Greater studies are now being conducted to completely assess the effects of the drug. For many years, the amyloid accumulation in the brain has been the target of the treatment.

Dropped out

This test was intended to check whether Aducanumab was harmless to be used with 165 patients. After a period of one year since the treatment started, it was observed that more the dose, stronger is the effect on the amyloid plagues in the brain. It was after this that researchers carried out certain tests with regards to their memory and could see positive effects. On the other hand, 40 people left the study, half of them because of experiencing side effects like headaches.

This was common along with high dosages. The next part of the research had three phases which had two separate tests. These are enlisting 2,700 people in an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease around Europe, North America and Asia, so as to completely check the drug’s effectiveness on cerebral deterioration. Dr Alfred Sandrock from Biogen, which is a biotech company also worked on the research with the University of Zurich said that the third phase genuinely needs to get done with and he hopes that it will give assurance of what they have seen in the test. One day he can imagine curing people who don’t show the symptoms because if one has amyloid within the brain it is possible to develop the disease in one day.

Significant step

Nevertheless, the drug development has also caused some disappointments and it has been more than 10 years since the drug was licensed for those with the condition. This latest test is welcomed by other researchers but with care. Chief Scientist Officer Dr David Reynolds at the Alzheimer’s Research UK mentioned that the resulted gave tantalising proof that a new set of drug to cure the disease may be made available.

Head of research at the Alzheimer’s society Dr James Pickett added that the most compelling thing is that greater amount of amyloid was cleared when the patients took a greater dose of the medicine. No current treatment for the disease directly hinders its process and hence a medicine that actually decelerates the growth of the disease by cleaning up the amyloid would be an important step.

Conversely, Dr Tara Spires-Jones at the University of Edinburgh of the Centre for neural and cognitive systems said that she is vigilantly hopeful about the treatment, but is trying to not get over thrilled as many drugs can only make it through the early stage of trial and then prove to be a failure in bigger tests.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Gum Disease Link to Alzheimer's, Research Suggests

Gum Disease

Gum Disease Related to Alzheimer’s disease

An early stage research had submitted that gum disease has been related to a larger rate of cognitive decline in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The study which was published in PLOS ONE, viewed 59 persons who seemed to have mild to moderate dementia. It is presumed that the response of the body to gum inflammation could be hastening the decline of the brain.

 The Alzheimer’s Society stated that if the link proved to be true then good oral health could help in slowing down dementia. The possible reason for the quicker decline was referred to the body’s response to inflammatory conditions. The immune cells tend to swell due to inflammations and have been connected with Alzheimer’s.

 Researchers are of the belief that their discoveries seem to add weight to evidence that the inflammation in the brain is responsible for the disease. The study which is jointly led by the University of Southampton and King’s College London, cognitively evaluated the participants, taking blood samples for measuring inflammatory markers in their blood. Their oral health was also evaluated by dental hygienist who had been unaware of the cognitive results.

Patients with Gum Disease – Chew on Teeth – Mini Injections of bacteria in Bloodstream

Twenty-two of the sample group had been found to have significant gum disease while the remaining 37 of them, the disease seemed to be less apparent. The normal age of the group having gum disease was 75 while in the other group it was 79. A majority of 52 participants were followed up at six months with all assessments repeated. Gum disease or periodontitis as it is known was related to six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline according to the study.

Dentist Dr Mark Ide from King’s College London had informed BBC News website that he had been surprised by the decline rate and stated that as patients with gum disease tend to chew on their teeth, they were effectively giving themselves mini injections of bacteria in their bloodstream.

He had mentioned that in just six months one could see the patients going downhill which was quite frightening. Advanced levels of antibodies to periodontal bacteria are linked with an increase in levels of inflammatory molecule elsewhere in the body which turn out to be connected to higher rates of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.

Better Dental Hygiene

The director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown, also acknowledged that the study tends to add evidence to the idea that the gum disease could probably be contributing to Alzheimer’s. He stated that if this is proved, better dental hygiene would provide a straightforward option of helping in slowing the progress of dementia, enabling people to remain independent for a longer period of time.

However he described the study as `small’ and said that it was presently uncertain whether the gum disease was the cause of the effect. He added that they don’t know if the gum disease is activating the faster decline of dementia or vice versa.

In the UK about 80% adults of more than 55 years of age had evidence of gum disease as per the adult dental survey of 2009, the latest data available. Around half a million people with Alzheimer’s disease tend to be living in the UK.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Alzheimer's Preventative Drug Hope


Drugs in Protecting against Alzheimer’s Disease

In recent years, the struggle against Alzheimer’s disease has been increased and researchers are achieving a better understanding of this mind altering ailment though we seem to be far from a cure for it. Various drugs have been detected by scientists that could help in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease and act like statins for the brain.

Experimenting on worms, researchers from University of Cambridge recognized drugs that could prevent the initial step in brain cell death. They now plan to match with drugs having precise stages of the disease. Experts state that it is of great importance to discover if these drugs could be safe for humans. Statins are taken by people to decrease the risk of developing heart ailment and the research team at Cambridge state that its work could have discovered a possible neurostatin to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

 Instead of treating the symptoms of the disease, neurostatin can be utilised as a preventative measure in order to stop the condition in the first place. For instance the cancer drug bexarotene has been found to stop the first step that could lead to the death of brain cells in worms naturally programmed in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Discover More on Mechanics at Every Stage of Development

The researchers, intheir earliertrials in humans, had tested the drug at a later stage of the ailment to check if it would clear amyloid plaques from the brain though the trials had been unsuccessful. Head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Rosa Sancho had stated that scientists should find out precisely how the drugs tend to work prior to any clinical trials. She added that they will now need to see if this new preventative approach could halt the earliest biological events in Alzheimer’s and keep damage away in further animals and human studies.

This early research in worms recommend that bexarotene could act earlier in the process to interfere with amyloid build-up. Prof Michele Vendruscolo, senior study author from the University of Cambridge, said while writing in Science Advances, that the research team wanted to discover more about the mechanics of every stage of the development of the disease.

Body – Natural Defences in Protecting Itself

She mentioned that the body tends to have a variety of natural defences in protecting itself against neurodegeneration, but as we seem to age, these defences become progressively impaired and could get overwhelmed. By understanding how these natural defencesworks, we could be capable of supporting them by designing drugs which behave in a similar manner.

 The director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown said that it was still early days. Bexarotene had been given to nematode worms genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease, as part of the research and the way the drug worked at molecular level had been analysed. As per the researchers, Bexarotene seems to work by suppressing primary nucleation reaction, which is a process that starts the formation of malfunctioning proteins known as amyloid fibrils and accumulation of amyloid is a symbol feature of Alzheimer’s.

Bexarotene seems to have several side-effects when utilised to treat lymphoma like skin complaints, sickness and headaches and that we would also need to be sure that it would be safe for people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Dementia Loved Ones 'Benefit from Visits'


Social Interaction – Beneficial for Dementia People

One may have to face immense responsibility as well as pressure in taking care of someone affected with memory loss disease. The symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are often painful to witness when it tends to affect our near and dear ones.

Research recommends social interaction with loved one could have a long lasting emotional benefit for those suffering from dementia. Though the physical or explicit memory of an experience with a loved one tends to disappear, the benefits which are the feelings of familiarity, comfort, happiness and comfort tends to remain for some time.

A Dementia charity experts states that spending time with ones loved ones suffering from dementia is very important even if they tend to fail in recognizing the faces of their family and friends. From a survey conducted it was observed that 42% of the community are of the opinion that there is no point in keeping in touch with them at this stage of time.

 However the Society of Alzheimer states that family visits tend to stimulate feelings of happiness, security and comfort. As the condition seems to progress, it is said that people suffering from dementia could still hold on an emotional memory.

Visit/Indulge in Activities they Enjoy

The charity requests people to visit friends and relatives with dementia, regularly and help them to indulge in activities which they tend to enjoy. In another survey by the charity of 300 people who had been affected by dementia, around 54% had stated that they were rarely or no longer taking part in any social activity and about 51% had informed that having someone to help them in getting involved would make them less lonely.

Around 64% had informed that they felt isolated after their diagnosis. Chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, Jeremy Hughes had commented that `after spending time with friends and family over festive period, New Year could be a bleak and lonely time for people affected with dementia as well as their caretakers.

It is essential for those suffering from dementia to feel connected all through the year. Spending time with their loved ones as well as taking active part in meaningful activities could help tremendously in having a powerful and a positive impact inspite of the fact that they do not remember the event itself.

Right Support Helpful

People are urged to get in touch with the society or visit the site to get to know how they could get help to stay connected with their support service across the North-East and make some improvement in their lives. A survey of over 4,000 members of people indicated that 68% still tend to visit their loved one with dementia who no longer seems to recognize them.

 But the charity states that the people’s busy lives often seems to mean that they do not manage to follow up on the good intentions, thus leaving several of those living with dementia, with a feeling of being isolated. In UK there are about 850,000 people who have been suffering from dementia.

With the right support, people with this condition could live a happy life and continue to indulge in activities they seem to enjoy like meeting friends which could eliminate some of the loneliness and bring about some joy and happiness in their live.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

VR Test Could Diagnose Very Early Onset Alzheimer’s


Virtual Reality Test to Monitor Signs of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease could be identified several years prior to the onset with virtual reality test which can be utilised in monitoring signs of Alzheimer’s disease in people in the age group of 18 to 30 according to research published in the journal Science.The study led by Lukas Kunz of German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn revealed that people at risk of Alzheimer’s’ tend to have lower activity in a newly discovered network of navigational brain cells known as grid cells.

Researchers at the University of Bonn researched the interactions between various parts of the brain connected to navigation and memory and matched the results with participants who had varied genetic likelihood of developing the ailment.

In order to test the theory, researchers fabricated a virtual space with blue sky, mountains and a grass floor together with everyday object all about the place. Participants were then asked to walk around the space and collect virtual stuff which comprised of basketballs and aubergines and return them back to the same place later on. The participants were monitored by the researchers with the use of fMRI and it was found that those with a higher genetic likelihood of developing the Alzheimer’s, portrayed various neural activity at the time of the trial.

New Ways of Diagnosing Alzheimer’s

The researchers reported in Science that at-risk group portrayed various brain signals several decades prior to the onset of the disease and they passed through differently in a virtual environment. Scientists are of the belief that the results could lead to new ways of diagnosing the disease which presently tend to affect 500,000 people living in the UK.

They also focused on a network of navigational cells - grid cells which was discovered in 2005 and a Nobel Prize had been awarded in 2014 to John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser, which had been utilised in navigation as well as memory. Participants at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and those with the e4 variant of the gene APOE had reduced grid cell activity.

Significantly the participants did not tend to perform poorer in the trial but they only utilised a different part of their brain for navigation. Instead of using grid cells, the at-risk participants more likely used the hippocampus which is a part of the brain connected with memory and emotion.

Grid Cell System/Hippocampus

Nikolai Azmacher, a study author to Science comments that this indicates that one can use either the grid cell system or they can use the hippocampus. The differences in the neural activity thus could reveal insights as to why people suffering from Alzheimer’s tend to struggle in navigating the world around them. According to the study, the consequences provide a new line of study for the researchers attempting to comprehend how they could prevent or reverse the effects of dementia. Laura Pipps, from Alzheimer’s Research told the BBC that, though they didn’t know if young people in this study would go on to develop this disease, distinguishing early brain changes linked with genetic risk factors would be important to assist researcher in understanding better why some people would be more vulnerable to the disease later in life. She further added that the risk factors for Alzheimer’s are diverse which includes age, genetics, lifestyle and research seems to be of great importance to enable them to unravel how each of these factors make their contribution to a person’s risk of the disease.