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Thread: OT - Alzheimer's - possible cause & tx discovered?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Default OT - Alzheimer's - possible cause & tx discovered?

    It's in mice, but still, could be major breakthru. I wonder if this has any applicability to us?

    http://www.sciencealert.com/new-trea...lert-Latest%29

    New treatment halts Alzheimer’s development and memory loss in mice
    And they might have found the cause.

    Scientists in the US have discovered a potential new cause for Alzheimer’s, and have used an existing drug to halt the progression of the disease and memory loss in mice.

    The team, from Duke University in the US, figured out that when a person has Alzheimer’s, the immune cells turn against the body and start consuming a nutrient called arginine. Arginine plays a crucial role in cell division, wound healing, immune function, and hormone regulation, and when levels in the brain are reduced, structures called amyloid plaques are allowed to accumulate and cause the memory loss and decline in cognitive function that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

    The finding is important because not only does it give researchers another avenue through which to explore treatment options, but it gives them a new possible cause for Alzheimer’s disease, which has proven frustratingly elusive.

    "We see this study opening the doors to thinking about Alzheimer’s in a completely different way, to break the stalemate of ideas in Alzheimer’s disease,” one of the team, neurologist Carol Colton told Charlie Cooper at The Independent. "The field has been driven by amyloid for the past 15, 20 years and we have to look at other things because we still do not understand the mechanism of disease or how to develop effective therapeutics."

    Publishing in the Journal of Neuroscience, the team describes how they used a drug called difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) to treat the arginine-eating immune systems of mice with Alzheimer’s. This drug is also being used in trials to treat different types of cancer, Cooper reports, which means if it ends up being a viable option for Alzheimer’s treatment, it could get approval much quicker than if it was a brand new drug.

    The team watched as the DFMO drug stopped the reduction of arginine in the brains of the mice, and this in turn prevented the build-of sticky amyloid plaques. Both memory and cognitive function remained at healthy levels.

    While mice are very different from humans, the results are encouraging, and the next step will be to see if they can be replicated in clinical trials. "Clinical trials are essential before any potential new treatment can be given to people, but these early findings could open new doors for future treatment development for Alzheimer’s," Laura Phipps from Alzheimer’s Research UK, who was not involved in the research, told The Independent. "The study suggests that low levels of arginine in the brain could contribute to the death of nerve cells in Alzheimer’s, but there is much more we still need to understand about how and why nerve cells die in the disease."

    It's early days, but for those working in a field like Alzheimer’s research, where decades and entire careers have been dedicated to finding an effective treatment and/or method of prevention, an opportunity to focus on something new, such as arginine depletion, is no doubt extremely welcome. We'll just have to wait and see where it will take us.

    Source: The Independent
    Last edited by SuzE-Q; 04-16-2015 at 06:31 PM.


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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    You have to love those mice!
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member Frog42's Avatar
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    I hope the mice tell us plenty we don't know!



    Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. -- Miguel Ruiz


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    Distinguished Community Member Jo6's Avatar
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    It would be wonderful to find a cure for Alzheimer's D. We cared for my MIL who had it. So long in a dark hole! I wish more research would be done, but somehow it feels like it's pushed to the back of the line. Maybe not, but it can't happen too soon. thank you ladies for your caring.

    Julia
    Did you ever know that you're my hero and every thing I would like to be I can fly higher than an eagle
    'cause you are the wind beneath my wings

    for my brother Ben

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Jo, I love your Signature line of Bette Midler's song.
    My DD did a calligraphy, in her dorm at college of
    the words of that song, for me on Mother's Day, 1988!!!
    Last edited by SalpalSally; 04-23-2015 at 11:26 AM.
    Love, Sally


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    I don't think this is used to "cure" Alzheimer's, but to prevent further progress of a diagnosed patient. I could have misunderstood the article, either way it's exciting news!

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swanton Bomb View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I don't think this is used to "cure" Alzheimer's, but to prevent further progress of a diagnosed patient. I could have misunderstood the article, either way it's exciting news!
    You're absolutely right, I think. Kind of like the disease-modifying therapies for MS--they don't cure anything but they (sometimes) slow the whole disease process down.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    This is very exciting news! Both of my grandparents on my mother's side suffer from Alzheimer's. Unfortunately grandpa has since passed, but grandma is healthy and strong. Just doesn't know where or who she or anyone else is :(
    Question: Why can't I post links or pictures?
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    Distinguished Community Member renee's Avatar
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    Dad was in very early stages when he died.
    I know he was grateful not to have lived long with it after all he had seen in his career-
    for both the family and the patient.

    Remember, many people with dementia recognize love, kindness and good spirit
    in whatever state they may be.

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  17. #10
    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    I already take l-arginine supplements for another reason, one I can't recall now, not because of memory loss , but because it was so long ago that I read research that it was something I would like to include in my supplements.

    I wonder if the supplement form will protect me from dementia? I guess time will tell, but I'll be more consistent in taking it, just in case. It's a cheap supplement anyway.

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