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Thread: Any Alzheimers Syndrome Cures on the Horizon?

  1. #1 Any Alzheimers Syndrome Cures on the Horizon? 
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    At the start of the 21st century, I wonder if our predecessors would have thought that the vast speed of technology would have erased disease from society including cancer and Alzheimer's disease. As someone with first hand experience of seeing close relatives with this disorder, I know that there must be a voluminous number of studies of cognitive enhancers and drugs that can renew brain cells. Yet..sadly there is no cure.

    Alzheimer's disease overview Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia accounting for around 60% of cases in the elderly. Symptoms of Alzheimer's, including early-onset Alzheimer's, include problems with memory, judgement, and thinking, which makes it hard to work or take part in day-to-day life. As the stages of Alzheimer's progress, memory loss and other signs of Alzheimer's become more apparent. Many people find help with Alzheimer's medications, but there is no cure for this form of dementia.
    Alzheimer's health centre: Symptoms, types, causes, tests and treatments

    Latest figures for numbers of Alzheimer's disease are alarming.

    • 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease.
    • One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer's disease.
    • Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
    • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care valued at $210 billion for persons with Alzheimer's and other dementias.
    • Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012.
    Latest Facts & Figures Report | Alzheimer's Association

    We must have studies like this published every day, showing neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) in the brain, but, frustratingly, no end in sight:
    Summary Although endogenous recruitment of adult neural stem cells has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy, clinical approaches for achieving this are lacking. Here, we show that metformin, a widely used drug, promotes neurogenesis and enhances spatial memory formation. Specifically, we show that an atypical PKC-CBP pathway is essential for the normal genesis of neurons from neural precursors and that metformin activates this pathway to promote rodent and human neurogenesis in culture. Metformin also enhances neurogenesis in the adult mouse brain in a CBP-dependent fashion, and in so doing enhances spatial reversal learning in the water maze. Thus, metformin, by activating an aPKC-CBP pathway, recruits neural stem cells and enhances neural function, thereby providing a candidate pharmacological approach for nervous system therapy
    Cell Stem Cell - Metformin Activates an Atypical PKC-CBP Pathway to Promote Neurogenesis and Enhance Spatial Memory Formation

    Any thoughts?

    Note: Despite my puzzling title, I am not referring to Alzheimer's Downs Syndrome but Alzheimer's Disease.


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  3. #2  
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    The best thing we can do as a society is to educate young people. The Nun Study tells us that the better the vocabulary, thinking and expressive skills of a young adult, the less likely they are to exhibit overt Alzheimer's symptoms in old age. Nun Study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And maintaining and developing those skills throughout your life is a really good idea. As for drugs and other therapies, the most important thing is to defer the symptoms. Plenty of people exhibit the malformed structures in the brain at autopsy even though they've shown little to no symptoms in life. I don't know about you, but I don't care if there's something odd in my body or brain when I die peacefully over 90 years old if I've never had any confusion or other brain malfunction while I'm alive.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The best thing we can do as a society is to educate young people. The Nun Study tells us that the better the vocabulary, thinking and expressive skills of a young adult, the less likely they are to exhibit overt Alzheimer's symptoms in old age. Nun Study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And maintaining and developing those skills throughout your life is a really good idea. As for drugs and other therapies, the most important thing is to defer the symptoms. Plenty of people exhibit the malformed structures in the brain at autopsy even though they've shown little to no symptoms in life. I don't know about you, but I don't care if there's something odd in my body or brain when I die peacefully over 90 years old if I've never had any confusion or other brain malfunction while I'm alive.
    I take your point about vocabulary and self expression with complex thinking being a way to predict Alzheimer's disease. However, the study was performed with nuns and they may be affected by their relative isolation from society. Isolation from a rich sensory environment could cause a deterioration in many individuals and I would agree that problem solving and similar activities would result in a well-exercised brain. I am not a fan of 'brain gym' type activities on mobile phones though, they seem to be a passing fad, to be replaced by other fads.
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