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Health & Fit3 Studies Offer Hope on the Future of Alzheimer's Disease

21:50  08 august  2019
21:50  08 august  2019 Source:   themighty.com

There won’t be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in our lifetime

There won’t be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in our lifetime Not only have there been more than 200 failed trials for Alzheimer’s, it’s been clear for some time that researchers are likely decades away from being able to treat this dreaded disease. Which leads me to a prediction: There will be no effective therapy for Alzheimer’s disease in my lifetime. Clinically, I am an emergency physician. But my research interests include diagnostic biomarkers, which are molecular indicators of disease, and a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s is something of a holy grail. Alzheimer’s sits right at the confluence of a number unfortunate circumstances.

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How Alzheimer ' s destroys the brain 01:38. (CNN) An analysis of the genetic makeup of more than 94,000 people in the United States and Europe These genes, along with others previously identified, appear to work in tandem to control bodily functions that affect disease development, the study found.

Right now, there is no treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and nothing that can cure it. So if you or a loved one were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a bit helpless. But there is some good news: There is so much research happening in the world of Alzheimer’s. Scientists around the globe are studying ways to diagnose the condition earlier and treat it more effectively.

3 Studies Offer Hope on the Future of Alzheimer's Disease© The Mighty Laboratory assistant putting test tubes into the holder, Close-up view focused on the tubes

As with any new research, we don’t know for sure if or how these developments will make their way to patients. But sometimes, it just feels good to know the progress that’s being made — and remind yourself that you aren’t alone in this fight. There’s a whole scientific community out there that has your back.

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Alzheimer ' s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. Alzheimer ' s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person's ability to function independently. The early signs of

Read on to learn more about three promising new research developments that suggest a brighter future is ahead for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

1. A new blood test may be up to 94% accurate at identifying early Alzheimer’s brain changes.

One of the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s is that a diagnosis typically doesn’t happen until symptoms start to appear, and by then the disease may be too advanced to treat. So many researchers are focusing on finding a way to diagnose the condition earlier. In a study published in the journal Neurology last month, researchers revealed that they created a blood test that was 94% accurate in recognizing brain changes consistent with early Alzheimer’s disease.

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Alzheimer ' s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., but recent studies have ranked it third after they found that deaths caused by this Aside from it being a leading cause of mortality, Alzheimer ’ s disease is a cause for concern for a lot of people, especially since its initial symptoms

The test measures the amount of two proteins, called a-beta 42 and a-beta 40, in the blood. In Alzheimer’s, these proteins start sticking together to form abnormal “plaques,” which lead to Alzheimer’s symptoms. So if the test finds less of these proteins circulating in the blood, that means more plaques are forming in the brain and thus a greater chance Alzheimer’s is developing.

Scientists tested for these proteins, and also combined those results with other factors like genetics and age. The results were then compared to an imaging test to see activity throughout your body called a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and cerebrospinal fluid samples that can also measure these protein levels. Comparing the methods found the same amount of proteins 94% of the time.

Scientists also found that people who had PET scans that were negative for Alzheimer’s at the start of the study, but blood tests that were positive for Alzheimer’s, had a 15-times higher risk of having a positive PET scan by the end of the study four years later. This means the blood test may be more sensitive to picking up Alzheimer’s earlier than existing methods.

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Alzheimer disease (AD) represents an oncoming epidemic that without an effective treatment promises to exact extraordinary human and financial burdens. Studies of pathogenesis are essential for defining targets for discovering disease -modifying treatments.

A neurodegenerative disorder , Alzheimer ’ s disease is the most common form of dementia found in the aging population. Federal law requires that all clinical trials conducted in the United States be registered on the site.) And the Alzheimer ’ s disease drug development pipeline is larger this year

The blood test still needs more research, but it could allow more people to be tested for early signs of Alzheimer’s. PET scans and taking samples of cerebrospinal fluid are expensive and time-consuming, not to mention invasive. With a simple blood test to catch the disease earlier, it can provide more time to try different treatments and coping strategies to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

2. A vaccine designed to protect people with Down syndrome from developing Alzheimer’s shows promise.

Alzheimer’s disease is particularly common among people with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21, which carries a gene called APP. This gene produces amyloid precursor protein which, if produced in large quantities, leads to the formation of clumps, or “plaques,” in the brain that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s. About 50% of people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s disease.

A clinical trial is testing the safety and efficacy of a vaccine specifically for people with Down syndrome that stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that prevent proteins from forming plaques. So far, researchers say the trial is promising, with results indicating fewer plaques formed after using the vaccine, and memory improved. In addition to helping fewer people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s, the research could help unlock new treatment methods for the general Alzheimer’s population.

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3. Following certain lifestyle behaviors could lower your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60%.

Unfortunately, there are currently no drugs that can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. But a new study found people who participated in four or five particular lifestyle habits could reduce their risk by 60%.

In a study conducted by Rush University Medical Center, more than 2,700 individuals were followed for 10 years and assessed based on five lifestyle factors: diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption and whether they participated in “cognitive stimulation activities” such as reading the news, visiting a library or playing chess.

Higher scores (and better outcomes) were earned by:

Avoiding red meat, butter, sweets and fried food Drinking no more than one glass of wine a day Not smoking Exercising at least 150 minutes a week Doing mentally stimulating activities like playing games and reading at least two or three times a week

The participants who engaged in four or five of these lifestyle strategies were 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, compared to those who engaged in zero or one of the lifestyle activities.

Of course, adopting these lifestyle habits doesn’t guarantee you won’t develop Alzheimer’s, and depending on your overall health, some of these might be difficult to achieve. But if you want to feel like you are proactively working to reduce your risk, those five factors are a good place to start.

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Research doesn’t always turn into tangible benefits for real people with Alzheimer’s, so it remains to be seen how or when these studies will affect Alzheimer’s care in the future. And there’s no doubt that despite these findings, Alzheimer’s remains a devastating diagnosis. But for now, perhaps we can take comfort in the promising results of this research, and hope it’s a sign of brighter things to come.

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3 Studies Offer Hope on the Future of Alzheimer's Disease
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