Thursday, March 23, 2006

63 a few news articles on AD drugs

I haven't got a lot of time for thorough commenting, but here they are:
Drug Appears Effective for Severe Alzheimer's Cases

Aricept, which is typically used to treat mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, seems to reverse some cognitive and functional deterioration in patients with severe forms of the disease, Swedish researchers report. The potential benefit of Aricept (donepezil) to treat Alzheimer's patients with severe dementia had not been studied until now ... Winblad's team found that patients receiving donepezil experienced improvements in cognition and in their ability to perform daily activities, compared with patients receiving a placebo. ... This finding is significant, Winblad said, because the high cost of caring for Alzheimer's patients is largely due to the need for intensive caregiver attention. "You have to support the patient in every activity of life," Winblad said. "If they understand better, if they communicate better, it makes it easier for caregivers to do their job." ...
"However, even if there was some benefit to the patients, it may not be worth the effort and cost of prescribing the medication," Hogan said. "It might be that instead of helping people in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease, money might be better spent elsewhere."
Perhaps more resources should be spent on things like nursing care to improve the patient's quality of life, or helping relatives cope with the loss of a loved one, he said.

I might be wrong...but didn't they just post a story about how this drug was killing people with vascular dementia? What an all purpose drug.
And I can't comprehend that the money would be better spent in bereavement consuling? Just give up? Hey, we've got this drug, it can help, but instead we're going to help you cope with your loved one's DEATH instead of spending the money and time to improve his quality of life.
That's bullshit.

This article says that Aricept is banned in the UK. I wonder why?

And finally: Alzheimer's Pathology Linked To Single Enzyme
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by tangles of tau protein and by plaques of amyloid, but the relationship between the two is not understood. Note that this study implies that a single enzyme, dubbed Pin1, plays a central role in guarding against both formations; a lack of Pin1 may allow them to form.
Both characteristic pathological features in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease -- the fibrillary tangles of tau protein and the amyloid plaques -- appear to arise because of a lack of an enzyme called Pin1. ... "It appears that Pin1 acts to restore misshapen amyloid precursor proteins to their original healthy shape, possibly preventing the onset of neurodegeneration and development of dementia."

GIVE MY FATHER SOME PIN1! There's actually a lot of med-speak in this article which I can't unravel. But if a pin1 defiency causes both plaque and tangles and having extra pin1 reverses it, what's the holdup? You know what Pin1 is. Let's get to it.

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