First Pill To Prevent Alzheimer’s: One Catch

 

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A pill commonly used for cancer may prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease

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The catch is you have to take it in your 30s

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They say in the future millions of 30-somethings may be taking it

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It would be the first ever drug to work like a statin does on the heart

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Researchers say the pill didn’t work in past studies because it was given too late

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Prof Chris Dobson, Master of St. John’s College, University of Cambridge told the Telegraph, “You wouldn’t give statins to someone who had just had a heart attack, and we doubt that giving a neurostatin to an Alzheimer’s patient who could no longer recognise a family member would be very helpful,” said Prof Chris Dobson, Master of St John’s College, University of Cambridge.

“But if it reduces the risk of the initial step in the process, then it has a serious prospect of being an effective preventive treatment.”

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The drug targets the first step in the toxic chain reaction that leads to the death of brain cells and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Tests showed it delayed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, both in a test tube and in nematode worms.

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When the drug was given to worms genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease, it had no effect once symptoms had already appeared.

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But when the drug was given before any symptoms became apparent, no evidence of the condition appeared.

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• Human mini-brains to speed up Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research

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The drug works by preventing a process called “primary nucleation.”

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That occurs when proteins in the body misfold and begin to clump together, eventually forming the sticky plaques that cause dementia.

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“The body has a variety of natural defences to protect itself against neurodegeneration, but as we age, these defences become progressively impaired and can get overwhelmed,” said Prof Michele Vendruscolo of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, the paper’s senior author.

“By understanding how these natural defences work, we might be able to support them by designing drugs that behave in similar ways.

“This, in terms of an approach for Alzheimer’s disease, would be the equivalent of what statins do for heart conditions. So you would take them well in advance of developing the condition to reduce your risk.

“I think the spirit should be similar to the way statins are used, so they are given to people that are more at risk of disease and given fairly early.

“There is some evidence that amyloid-beta aggregation takes place in middle age, so we may start in people in their 30s.”

The research was published in Science.

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  1. Early brain changes
  2. Subtle decline in thinking
  3. Memory changes, confusion
  4. Inability to bathe, dress or eat without help
  5. Loss of ability to communicate and recognize loved ones

 

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If  you or are a Caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s remember:

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New Study Reveals WHERE Alzheimer’s Disease Begins in the Brain.  It’s in the Locus Coeruleus where the red arrow is pointing in this illustration.  The Lous Coeruleus  is the First Brain Structure Affected By Alzheimer’s Disease.  More about that here:   http://ow.ly/Yp1uN

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Meanwhile, here are some brain healthy foods to keep in mind for prevention.

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Check out U.S. News & World Reports which rated the BEST nutritional plan for Alzheimer’s disease prevention

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Maintain a healthy, balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Keep fit.  The benefits of exercise on your brain’s health are extraordinary.   A daily walk can be done anywhere.

TIME Magazine even featured an article called, “This Is Your Brain on Exercise.”

Great read:  http://time.com/3956256/brain-exercise-effect/

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If you or someone you know needs help with fitness I highly recommend Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, CEO, fitness expert and author of Super Body, Super Brain.

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He has an on-line training program and has a passionate interest in optimizing brain function through fitness/lifestyle and brain-muscle training.

On-Line Fitness Training:  https://www.superbodysuperbrain.com/
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Enjoy brain challenges like puzzle activities, cards and board games.

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In related news be sure to check out the New York teen, Kenneth Shinozuka who invented an in-sole sensor that can track Alzheimer’s patients when they wander.

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Kenneth Shinozuka has invented a new wearable sensor called the SafeWanderer that can help keep Alzheimer’s patients safe. Inspired by his own grandfather’s battle with the disease, the 15-year-old came up with a device that can keep tabs on patients if they begin to wander off. The sensor works by reacting to pressure and can notify a caregiver through a smart phone app when a patient is on-the-go.

Read more: New York Teen Invents In-Sole Sensor that Can Track Wandering Alzheimer’s Patients | Inhabitat New York City

Here’s more help for Alzheimer’s patients in the form of an app.  I like the simplicity of MindMate.

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Keep in mind that not all Alzheimer’s patients use smart phone and they may resist adding one more thing to their proverbial To Do list.

Be sure to discuss it with the patient first. Show it to them and ask them if they would find it helpful. If yes, follow-up to check on their progress.

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Great read: “Super Body Super Brain” by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace.  Michael has provided fitness programs specifically tailored for Alzheimer’s patients.

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It focuses on keeping your brain sharp at all ages.

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The book “Super Body, Super Brain” by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is available here:

http://www.harpercollins.com/search-results/?search-term=super+body+super+brain

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Stay healthy, everyone!

me     MARIA DORFNER is the founder of Healthy Within Network. This is her blog. It curates and shares best in health from around the world without conflicts of interest for consumers  & media. Maria’s interest in health began in childhood. She won first place in science fairs and has always loved research, writing and creating. She covered the health beat in college and began professionally specializing in health after ten years of working in media.  The letters of gratitude she received from viewers after her medical segments aired is what gave meaning and purpose to her vocation.  Some people wrote to say seeing a segment saved their life.  She began as an executive intern at NBC News in 1983. In 1989, she helped launch CNBC, NBC’s cable station. In 1993, she began specializing in health. She founded NewsMD Communications and developed 7 half-hour original health series and pitched them to CNBC.  She senior produced and co-anchored them on CNBC for 3 years. She has since worked as director of research for Ailes Communications and as an associate producer, producer, field producer, medical/health writer, and on-air host. She has also written, produced and directed 21st Century Medicine, a documentary series covering future health, breakthroughs and pioneering medicine, airing on Discovery Health. She helped launch the Cleveland Clinic News Service (CCNS) on-site, and MedPage Today. Her award-winning original programs include Healthy Living, Healthcare Consumers, Lifestyles & Longevity, Healthcare Practitioners and Green Magazine. She has also produced for The Cutting Edge Medical Report and Healthy Women. She is the author of 3 books including Healthy Within available on Lulu Publishing. She is the  founder of NewsMD Communications, LLC.  Her alma mater, Pace University and Women in Corporate America awarded her an Outstanding Leadership Abilities award.

She can  be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

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