Tuesday, July 11, 2006

83 AD news

Some recent news on Alzheimer's:

Spinal Fluid Protein Could Predict Alzheimer's
Measuring levels of a protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of middle-aged adults at high genetic risk for
Alzheimer's disease may reveal early signs of disease development, U.S. researchers report....aging, plus the presence of a copy of a gene called apolipoprotein E*4 (APOE*4) are the two strongest known risk factors for Alzheimer's. People with APOE*4 develop clinical dementia about 10 to 15 years earlier than people without this particular allele.
Previous research had found that Alzheimer's-related plaques in the brain begin forming years before a person shows any symptoms of the disease.

Research Points to Alzheimer's Blood Test
Increased blood levels of specific forms of beta amyloid proteins -- the abnormal molecules that are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease -- were associated with an increased incidence of that condition and other forms of dementia.

I wonder if the two tests are related...are they looking for the same thing but in 2 places--blood and spinal fluid? I wish I was more medical-educated.

New Clues to Neurological Diseases Discovered
Researchers have found that genetic abnormalities in molecules that regulate neuron growth may be at the root of Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.....(A) malfunction of a single gene disrupts the transport of neurotrophins and that restoring normal levels of a Trk receptor could reverse the death of neurons....The thought has always been that the problem in neurodegenerative diseases has been a lack of supply of neurotrophins. (I)t's not a supply problem, but it's actually receptors on the cell surface malfunctioning....This could become a new therapeutic target.

Could a Low-Carb Diet Slow Alzheimer's?
The thought of trying to alter my dad's diet at this point is pretty funny. He drinks the dregs of oily disgusting salad dressing as if it's healthy spring water, and then cuts the burn marks off beautiful roasted chicken and calls THAT "fat".
A low-calorie diet, particularly one that's low in carbohydrates, may reduce or even reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease....(R)estricting carbs may help prevent Alzheimer's by boosting brain activity associated with increased longevity.

B vitamins don't prevent Alzheimer's
Using B vitamins to lower levels of the blood protein homocysteine does not ward off Alzheimer's disease....The findings come as a disappointment after previous work had suggested a link between Alzheimer's and elevated concentrations of the amino acid.
There is no short-term benefit of homocysteine lowering with B-vitamins on cognitive performance in healthy older people with high homocysteine...

You know, I read all these articles but I no longer have hope that any of these discoveries can help my dad. I can only hope they help someone else's dad.

1 comment:

Patty McNally Doherty said...

Hi Gevera,

I was looking through the web this evening and came across your blog. My father just died in January 2006, having lived with Alzheimer's for the past eleven years.

I have just glimpsed through your archives - that's a LOT of reading but I wanted to get a note off to you that I appreciate what you're doing.

When my father first got ill, we didn't know what to do or what to expect. We were completely in the dark. I can tell you, it is a long, tough road you're walking down. I am one of seven siblings, and my mom and dad had been married for 64 years. I think the more one loves their parents, the harder it is to go through.

We live in Florida, the land of the old, and you can't walk down the street without meeting someone with this disease, or a family member with it, or a sibling with it. It's just awful.

This comment is getting long, and I want to read more of what you've written before I comment, but again, wanted to thank you for posting this blog.

Sincerely,
Patty McNally Doherty