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Alzheimer's Cause Identified?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the can't-remember dept.

Biotech 71

JediJeremy writes "Naturehas this article on the possibility that researchers have identified the cause of Alzheimers. Their research says that amyloid beta, a protein in the brain, may cause plaques and makes an enzyme -BACE1-that causes dimentia. In the study mice, those without BACE1 did not get dimentia, while the others did. The article also says that there are current market drugs that can stop BACE1 production and all that needs to be done is for a human trial to begin. Looks like there is hope for those that suffer."

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Relosing one's mind (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941194)

One of the ugly little side effects of dementia correcting drugs is that they eventually stop working. The drug helps the patient for a while (they regain functioning) but then the mind inevitably succumbs to age a second time. Patients and family get to suffer through the process of losing their mind, memories, and personality a second time.

I can only hope that this drug helps patients before they suffer a decline in mental faculties -- going through it once is bad enough, losing your mind twice is hell for both the patient and their loved ones.

Re:Relosing one's mind (3, Insightful)

DrJAKing (94556) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941255)

I don't think anything can give you back brain function lost through dementia. The aim of anti-Alzheimer's treatment so far has been to slow down (or ideally stop) the decline. That means the trick is to spot it early enough, and there are quite a few projects developing tests for this. But reversing the damage is another matter; initially what is lost tends to be memory, and it may be that once the affected brain regions have been damaged, the memories are lost for good.

Re:Relosing one's mind (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7941274)

No, I think you're thinking of parkinson's correcting drugs. They exhibit the funny bounce effect alright, but parkinson's isn't like alzheimers. Parkinsons sufferers lose reliable motor function, alzheimers lose reliable mind function. Not nice :-(((((

dementia correcting drugs eventually stop working (3, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#7943189)

One of the ugly little side effects of dementia correcting drugs is that they eventually stop working.

But here the drug isn't being used for dementia correcting, it's being used to stop BACE1 production. As long as the drug continues to do that, it holds the promise of preventing Alzheimer's. Of course, the last line of the Slashdot story (Looks like there is hope for those that suffer.) is off the mark - block BACE1 production and you may prevent the disease; but there's no reason to think that if you block production you somehow crue those who already have the disease and the plaques.

Re:Relosing one's mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7949786)

How do you know if they haven't done tests on humans yet?

Great news! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7941203)

What was the news again?

Re:Great news! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942934)

"I discovered the cure to Alzheimer's! The formula is.......uh....um. Where am I?"

hopefully (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7941208)

nature didn't misspell dementia.

twice.

Re:hopefully (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7942040)

nature didn't misspell dementia.

twice.


scientists probably would take a "dim" view of that mentia alright.

AB? Is anyone else chuckling about that? (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941229)

I know that B is not literally two 's's, but at least *I* still think the protein called "ass" is kind of humorous.

Re:AB? Is anyone else chuckling about that? (3, Funny)

cicadia (231571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941313)

That is pretty funny -- You would think that Nature would know the difference between the German ess-tsett (ss) and Greek beta characters. They actually used 'ß' in the article.

OTOH, at least they got "dementia" right :)

Dementia (1, Flamebait)

maunleon (172815) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941239)

Is Dimentia how you spell Dementia when you got Dementia?

I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (3, Interesting)

mistert2 (672789) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941277)

But this sounds more promising than cooking with aluminum pots and pans.

I question the high rate of this problem and the high rate of TV watching of its victims. I don't think TV builds up the plaque in the brain. I think it comes down more to life style.

The progression of this disease is quite depressing. I bought a house from a couple, and the wife was getting into to the later stages. They moved next door to their daughter, because he could hardly leave the house.

I hope this drug doesn't just delay the disease, we need a cure. I want to start watching TV again.

Don't you ever wonder if your starting to get this. Walk into a room and forget why you are there.

Don't you ever wonder if your starting to get this. Start posting and .....

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7943806)

There is one and only one reason, and the political meat production conglomerates are the only ones stopping the truth from coming out

Fact: Vegetarians don't get alzheimer's. ever The human body was not designed to eat meat, and doing so causes ALL sorts of problems. Sure it's a concentrated form of some proteins, but it's not worth the risk of having rotten animal flesh sitting in your intestines for months on end.

You DO know that vegetable matter is expelled from the body within 8 hours, but rotting animal flesh can sit there for months, don't you?

Breast cancer is another disease that never affects vegetarians. Make the lifestyle choice today. I guarantee you won't regret it.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (2, Interesting)

morgandelra (448341) | more than 10 years ago | (#7944062)

Umm, I'd have to say look at your friggin' teeth moron. Human's are omnivores, our teeth are designed as omnivores deal with it. If we where meant to be vegetarians, how come we cannot digest cellulose? And how come we can subsist on meat alone? Inuit traditionally ate almost all meat diets, and it seems they did rather well, unless your gonna say that inuit are not human....

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (2, Informative)

xyzzy42 (740215) | more than 10 years ago | (#7944447)

I am a vegetarian. Your "facts" are incorrect. Linda McCartney is probably the most well-known vegetarian to succumb to breast cancer. Vegetarians have a reduced risk and delayed onset of dementia according to this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd= Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8327020&dopt=Abstract The risk is not zero however.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (3, Insightful)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 10 years ago | (#7945675)

Yes, and I'm sure that you could tell us a lot about using the energy of crystals and the amazing powers of homeopathic medicine..

Now, if you'll excuse us, some people actually prefer real science, based on research and evidence than your so-called "facts".

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (2, Insightful)

sharkdba (625280) | more than 10 years ago | (#7947515)

Yes, and I'm sure that you could tell us a lot about using the energy of crystals and the amazing powers of homeopathic medicine..

I agree the grandparent is way out of line with his statement, but I wouldn't disregard homeopathy that easily.

For many years western medicine did not recognize, and either ignored or laughed at any "alternative" medical treatments. This has changed though, check Harvard's Osher Institute [caregroup.org]

Just think how homeopathic cures came by: most likely people in the past discovered that certain things helped cure sick people. They might not necessarily understand why, and there were no easy ways to explain it, but as long as certain treatments helped, they were used. Today's science doesn't understand a lot of these things either, but just because it doesn't, it doesn't mean they are worthless. There is something to it, and one day science will help us understand what. I still consider our sciences, specially human sciences like medicine, psychology, etc., in just a beginner phase. There is still A LOT to learn about ourselves.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (3, Informative)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7947798)

This is getting off topic, but I feel compelled to respond to this anyway. I agree that we need to keep an open mind these things, but the problem with homeopathy is that is based on a shaky premise and employs flawed epistemological techniques. The basic idea behind homepathy is that "like cures like": homeo (same) + pathy (disease). For cases like vaccines that use small amounts of a virus to stimulate immune response, this makes sense, but in most other contexts it does not. For example, the The National Center for Homeopathy [homeopathic.org] recommends treating children who accidentally ingest poison with ipecac, which is basically poisonous itself and is used to induce vomiting. A classic homeopathic remedy. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends against using ipecac for poison treatment [aap.org] . Apparently it doesn't often get rid of all the poison and may cause the child to vomit up antidotes that actually do work, making treatment more difficult.

I'm sure there are many folk remedies that do work, but homeopathy as a principle seems kind of silly.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7949372)

As I understand it, the homeopathic use of ipecac is so diluted that it is almost certainly just a null operation. (It may have a placebo effect of course). There would not really be a medical reason to recommend against it, except that people may try it in lieu of a remedy that is actually effective.

Whereas what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against is the more traditional use of ipecac to induce vomiting. This was a complicated decision based on various things including but not limited to: the development of more effective emergency care services, the reduction of the rate of accidental poisonings, and the problem that people may buy a large bottle of ipecac that the kid(s) may find and ingest.

In any case, during the last 50 years the standard medical recommendation in the US regarding poisonings was that vomiting was only to be induced upon advisement from a physician or the local poison control center.

But yeah... homeopathy practitioners will often claim to treat patients with some substance X, when in fact the portion being administered has been so diluted that (there is a very high probability that) not a single molecule of the original X remains in the solution. It's hard for me to consider that as having any real physical principle behind it.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (5, Informative)

sharkdba (625280) | more than 10 years ago | (#7947370)

The human body was not designed to eat meat...

Normally I don't read @ -1, nor do I reply to AC posts, but this is a very interesting topic, and what you said is a common myth I've seen repeated too many times:

Without going into positive or negative aspects of eating meat, you can't deny biological facts. Human body WAS (I would say "IS", but you used past tense) designed to eat meat. Ever looked at your teeth? If humans were designed to be vegetarians, our teeth structure would be different. Some teeth exist only so we can process meat. Check with any dentist if you don't believe me.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7949422)

In addition, we have good binocular vision. This is a characteristic of hunters and sometimes scavengers. Animals that are evolved to be herbivores typically have eyes set much farther apart, on the sides of the head... like mices, cows, brontosauri, etc.

Humans (and primates in general) are clearly evolved to be omnivores. It doesn't mean meat is the optimal food, but it does mean an awful lot of vegetarian activists are idiots.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7949467)

like mices, cows, brontosauri, etc.


Oops -- of course I mean apatosauri. There is no such thing as a brontosaurus.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7949855)

Additionally the human GI tract is another clue - the small intestine is good at digesting meats. The large intestine is good at digesting veggies. Omnivore, biology, get over it.

Of course, try convincing a rabid vegan with facts...

I like to point out the thousands of insects killed in the growing, harvesting and transportation of their "death-free carrots". 1 cow or thousands of crickets - make them explain how they make their value judgements about what can live and what must die.

"Life lives on life", somebody once said. How sad but true.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (3, Funny)

hplasm (576983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7951009)

Of course, try convincing a rabid vegan with facts...

Do Not Try to Approach a Rabid Vegan! Call the Authorities at Once! On No Account Try To Use Reason! This May Induce Biting!!!

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7952314)

Do Not Try to Approach a Rabid Vegan! Call the Authorities at Once! On No Account Try To Use Reason! This May Induce Biting!!!

Only if you're a carrot.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7957125)

A tad late but the article only hit the local treeware newspaper (Rocky Mountain News) today...

It seems that with all of the renewed "interest" in BSE, CJD, vCJD, scrapie, etc., someone noticed that the effects of these diseases are very similar to alzheimers. Could be that the problem isn't meat per se but that the meat industry is throwing a few too many "downer" cows into the food chain and the older you get, the more likely it is that you get exposed. I only had a chance to skim the article but apparently there is some research (main stream, recognized university and peer reviewed) going on looking into this as a possible cause.

I don't have the article handy but I remember that they *don't* claim that this is the only cause of alzheimers; just that maybe 5 to 10 percent could be the caused this way. There aren't any good numbers because alzheimers patients usually aren't autopsied since the general cause of death is obvious.

BTW, I like vegitarians... they're usually good with a little bar-b-que sauce.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962522)

someone noticed that the effects of these diseases are very similar to alzheimers

Hmmm, I thought alzheimers was characterized by amyloid plaques growing on the neuronal dendrites and BSE/CJD was characterized by the presence of prions destroying brain tissue.

Maybe there is a connection, but the morphology at least are conventionally though of as dissimilar.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7967425)

I'm computer geek not an MD and this was from a mass circulation daily newspaper so I'm really stretching to pull stuff together here...

I vaguely remember that the result of the plaques is that brain tissue gets destroyed leaving voids which are fairly indistinguishable from the results of BSE/CJD/CWD/scrapie and, while the prions seem to be the "infectious agent" in TSEs, no one knows how they actually end up destroying brain tissue. By the time an animal shows outward signs of TSE its brain is already pretty well chewed up.

Here's a link to the story: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/state/articl e/0,1299,DRMN_21_2569718,00.html

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7950817)

Actually if you look at many other parts of humans it's obvious we are not meant to eat meat. Carnivores have large sharpened teeth and jaws designed to catch prey. we have small ineffective 'canines' (don't let the name fool you) that are useful for stripping highly fibrous foods, but little else. Why else do we cook meat? The marker for omnivorous teeth is MUCH larger canines than ours. Look at gorillas. Pretty big teeth there, but they're purely vegetarian. Surely you wouldn't admit to ignoring decades of research there.

In addition, humans have a very long digestive tract. Why? It's to process vegetable matter. Carnivores have short ones not even as long as the body itself, to expel rotting animal flesh quickly. Surely you can't deny dog shit stinks and horse shit doesn't.

In addition, Carnivores cool themselves with the tongue, and do not sweat, as that would put off scent that could be detected by prey. Conversely, all herbivores sweat.
Humans sweat. That's just fact. Surely you don't want to go against your own experience in sweating?

You can argue all you like about humans being made to process rotting animal flesh, but we are simply not designed to. It's a recent fad.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7951616)

Hum . . . humans sweat more than all other primates as well, including apes (some of which are primarily herbivores). Perhaps there is something else going on with human physiology involving heat loss requirements? Certainly, human hunters manage to get around the problem of being scented by their prey.

As for cooking meat, personally, I prefer it raw, and would eat it that way more often if I wasn't worried about getting parasites.

As for the digestive tract length thing, you are aware that the human digestive tract is quite short compared to sheep and cows, right? I think if you try to go by digestive tract length, you will find that the length of the human digestive tract is similar to that of other omnivores.

However, as far as I'm concerned, you are welcome to be a vegetarian. More steak for me!

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7955776)

Another Anonymous Coward wrote:
Why else do we cook meat? (Suggesting that if we were meant to eat it we wouldn't have to cook it.)

The "cooked meat" argument is not one I've heard before. Perhaps you are into raw foods as well as vegetarianism?

The primary non-animal sources of protein are grains and legumes (some vegetarians also eat eggs and dairy products, but those foods are animal in origin). Grains and legumes, like meat, typically require cooking or other processing to make them digestible. Grains can be cracked and/or polished (our teeth aren't really up to it) and then soaked for several hours to make them soft enough to chew, or cooked. Legumes pretty much must be well-cooked, as otherwise they contain sugars that the human body cannot handle (which causes flatulence, stomach upset, etc.)

With respect to other foodstuffs of plant origin, there are many that must be cooked before they can be eaten, either because they are unpleasantly or inedibly bitter unless cooked, or because they are poisonous unless cooked.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7956958)

Of course I'm not sure the toxin-filled antibiotic-stuffed squalid-condition-living animals coming from industrialized farming qualifies as the meat our bodies have evolved to process...

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (1)

tage (14671) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962203)

I'm a vegetarian because I hate animals.

Re:I think this is a symptom and not the problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7966180)

I'm a carnivore for precisely the same reason...

TV sucks... WTF do you want to watch that shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7954272)

If everyone traded one hour of tv they watch
for some USEFUL project each day we'd be in
a much better situation than the world is now.

YES, I'm a lazy fuck. I still spend all day
doing USEFUL and CONSTRUCTIVE things.
This does not include sitting in front of a TV
absorbing media bullshit all day.

I'm not saying all tv is bad, it's just that the package
is a bitch.

Would YOU deliver stuff all day in a truck that
had its bed set up for super-easy load/unload
if the cab of the truck was always full of fresh
manure?

Neither would I.

damnit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7941328)

I had something really insightful to add to this thread, but I forgot what I was going to say.

This is great! (4, Informative)

ChopsMIDI (613634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941342)

This is exciting stuff.

My grandmother suffers from dementia. For a while (before her current medication), every few weeks she would have a dream where one of her children or grandchildren were out to kill her and she began mistaking them for real life.

Once we went over there and found she had hidden a knife under one of her table-cloths, and once she even ran away because she thought one of us was going to blow up her house.

It would be fantastic to see a cure.

Re:This is great! (3, Interesting)

KDan (90353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7944755)

Ditto to the wish for a cure. My grandmother has dementia too, and it hurts me just to see what she's degenerated into. :-( It's almost as if she was already dead - she barely recognises me or my father (her son), and even if she does, the only way she shows it is by looking at one of us for a long time. The only way in which she still seems to function as a conscious human being is that when my dad touches here and says "mom?" in the right tone of voice she slightly turns towards him and says "hmm?" like a normal human being would. But that's about it.

Alzheimer's is a terrible, terrible disease that I would not wish on my worst enemies...

Daniel

Re:This is great! (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7944775)

My grandmother has dementia too:: slip of the keyboard, i meant she has Alzheimer's too.

Daniel

Re:This is great! (1)

tommck (69750) | more than 10 years ago | (#7957053)

Alzheimer's is a terrible, terrible disease that I would not wish on my worst enemies...


Not me, I'd love it if Osama bin Laden got it... Maybe he'd start bombing all the wrong countries... Or forget that he's hiding from us... Or pull the pin on a grenade and try to figure out what it is (tick, tick). All good stuff..

So, I would definitely wish it on my worst enemies...

Re:This is great! (1)

cmstremi (206046) | more than 10 years ago | (#7954461)

Once we went over there and found she had hidden a knife under one of her table-cloths, and once she even ran away because she thought one of us was going to blow up her house.


Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you...

difference between preventing it and curing it (3, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941349)

I'm not a doctor, but it sounds to me that the treatments they're proposing would prevent the plaques from building up in the first place -- I'm not sure that they'd remove it once it was in place.

Re:difference between preventing it and curing it (1)

derubergeek (594673) | more than 10 years ago | (#7945525)

There's a book [google.com] entitled "Toxic Metal Syndrome" that claims that these plaques can be removed using chelation therapy [google.com] . The links are Google searches, so you'll be able to get a lot of viewpoints on both the book and the therapy.

Re:difference between preventing it and curing it (2, Informative)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7952484)

My father had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. As a result, he had a few TIA's (mini-strokes) that would briefly impair his speech and/or vision. His doctor(s) prescibed Plavix to prevent clotting, some anti-cholesterol drug(s) and blood pressure medication.

Rather than blow all that money on prescribed drugs, he was talked into chelation therapy by a local country doctor to remove plaque from his blood.

He had chelation treatments for about 3 years, during which time he also had more TIA's and decided to (almost) follow Dr's order by taking Plavix infrequently. After more TIA's, he finally had a massive stroke in June 2003. We found his 1 month presciption of Plavix about half full and dated January 2003. Now he is in a nursing home with no use of his left side and can't take care of himself at all.

Chelation is bogus! It was delevoped/tested by the US military as a possible treatment to remove heavy metals from one's system... it was dropped after being deemed ineffective.

Chelation IS NOT an FDA approved treatment for ANYTHING!

Re:difference between preventing it and curing it (1)

derubergeek (594673) | more than 10 years ago | (#7958347)

It's hard to believe that this is the science group. It's unfortunate that your father suffered from a massive stroke. Strokes also run in my family and it's likely my mother will suffer the same fate. However, your story doesn't prove or disprove anything. Your father could have suffered a massive stroke while taking the Plavix. There's no way to know. The NIH is currently undertaking a clinical trial [nih.gov] to study the efficacy of chelation therapy. The results of this study should be available in another 4 years. The results may completely agree with your assessment. They also may completely disagree with your assessment. But at least they will be scientific.

In regards to your claim "Chelation IS NOT an FDA approved treatment for ANYTHING!", the nih.gov link provided above states

"Over 800,000 patient visits were made for chelation therapy in the United States in 1997. Chelation therapy involves the use of EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid), a synthetic amino acid that is administered intravenously (through the veins). EDTA, which effectively speeds removal of heavy metals and minerals such as lead, iron, copper, and calcium from the blood, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating lead poisoning and toxicity from other heavy metals. Although it is not approved by the FDA to treat coronary artery disease, some physicians and alternative medicine practitioners have recommended EDTA chelation as a way to treat this disorder."

Re:difference between preventing it and curing it (3, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7954531)

> There's a book entitled "Toxic Metal Syndrome" that claims that these plaques can be removed using chelation therapy. The links are Google searches, so you'll be able to get a lot of viewpoints on both the book and the therapy.

There are also Quacks who sell Books and Bogus Cures based on Bogus Claims and Bad Science.

Here is a good place to start if you'd like to understand why Chelation Therapy [quackwatch.org] and Homeopathy [homeowatch.org] are bunk.

If you don't want the specific debunkings because you're afraid someone might have something negative to say about your particular "alternative health remedy" (which is obviously Not Bunk, because You're No Mere Tool of the Medical Conspiracy, and because You're Obviously Too Smart To Fall For Bunk, and because Science Doesn't Have All The Answers Anyways!), at least read the articles on How Quackery Sells [quackwatch.org] 25 ways to spot it [quackwatch.org] and do your own due diligence.

Re:difference between preventing it and curing it (1)

derubergeek (594673) | more than 10 years ago | (#7958057)

A good place to start were the original Google links that provided a myriad of pro and con links so that people could actually use their own judgement. But then thinking appears to be something you're afraid people either will do or won't do they way you want them to.

(My apologies for not using lots of Bogus Capitalized Phrases - I guess the Thought Police are working to Prevent Me From Agreeing with you).

Pardon me but... (2, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941399)

...how exactly does one determine whether or not a mouse has dementia? "Let's see now, where was that cheese again..."

Vote Reagan in 2008 (-1, Offtopic)

utahjazz (177190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7941510)

8 more years!!

Re:Vote Reagan in 2008 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7947866)

Reagan has Alzheimer's, He could be cured by this development. Hence joke.

-1, I don't get it.

Priorities at slashdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7941947)

Does anyone else find it really sad that there are only 14 comments regarding this breakthrough whereas any tidbit about the latest slight modification to the Linux kernel gets hundreds of comments?

Re:Priorities at Johns Hopkins (5, Funny)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942144)

I wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine yesterday, as their latest issue only had one mention of kernel 2.6, yet 17 about medicine.

Impossible (-1, Troll)

jeramybsmith (608791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942228)

We all know from slashdot that Dubya putting limits on government funded stem cell research will result in an Alzheimer's cure never being found.

Another theory on the cause of Alzheimer's (2, Interesting)

young-earth (560521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942631)

See here [amazon.com] for a book that has hard data on the cause of Alzheimers and many other diseases. It's not popular with the mega food companies, as it puts a lot of the blame in their laps. But it makes a lot of sense.

It has to do with excitotoxins, such as glutamates, aspartates, and others when present in abnormal, imbalanced quantities.

Re:Another theory on the cause of Alzheimer's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7947157)

I only wish I could have come up first with the idea presented in this book, I'd be a millionaire now...
It was inevitable that someone figured out this fast way to make money.

Re:Another theory on the cause of Alzheimer's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7948784)

So the ruthless, greedy corporations are in it only for the money. Thank goodness the author of this important book is giving it away.

Oh, wait.

can't be that new (2, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942727)

a google search for this enzyme and for amyloid beta
yields slews of not so new results relating it to the disease.

According to some of what I read green tea is known to inhibit the enzyme.

Re:can't be that new (1)

henny59 (740504) | more than 10 years ago | (#7950771)

Shaitand Could you perhaps send me more info about the positive effects of green tea that seems to inhibit the enzyme (and also amyloid beta?) mentioned in the artuicle about Alzheimers disease? thanks Henny

More microscopic images (4, Interesting)

MrBlic (27241) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942774)

Check out this alzheimers in a human brain microscopic slide. Click on the purple crosshair buttons on the left to be directed to some plaques and tangles: Click here [neuroinformatica.com]

CAUTION! GOATSE.CX! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7943297)

The image linked in the above post is an <b>extreme</b> close-up of real goatse neurons!

darn (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#7942982)

Slashdotted already.

What was this story about again?

So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7944749)

There will be an end to all dupes?

Dementia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7945687)

/.: Idiots disinforming morons

There is a long debate about whether beta-amyloid is a causative aspect of Alzheimer's or just an accompanying phenomenon. Tangles of tau protein are another candidate. There are camps for both ideas.

Interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Mod Me God (686647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7946785)

however, this is a test

EVIL RESEARCH! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7946888)

Anything that could help cure Ronald Reagan should be banned!

Step II after prevention (3, Insightful)

nimblebrain (683478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7946903)

I read a few days ago an article about figuring out how to bust apart the prions in BSE (mad cow) - but cannot for the life of me find the link. There's a similar disease in sheep, scrapie, which they've had some success using monoclonal antibodies [usnews.com] to reduce the damage from.

That would be a next step in Alzheimer research - if we can bust apart the amyloid beta plaques in sufferers, we might not be able to get back all old function, but it would very likely help current sufferers. One we have the ounce of prevention - it would be nice to have the pound of cure, too.

I Discovered the Cause of Alzheimer's... (0, Redundant)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 10 years ago | (#7954393)

I figured it out a couple years ago. But I forget what it was.

Plaques / Alzheimer (1)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7958783)

There is a neuropathologist (whose name I forgot) that studies brains of deceased nuns over two decades now. He has a dela deal with nuns in several abbeys - he could test their cognitive performance in memory tests before they die and access their medical files. And slice their donated brains when they die. (The monastic orders are wonderful for having very commited patients and very controled enviroment for a human study. And wealth of long-time medical histories is available).

The post-mortem findings were very interesting. Almost every very old person at the time of death had some plaques associated with Alzheimer. And many of the heavily plaque-affected patients were obviously very lucid considering their old age. What seemed te make the difference was presence of plaques *together* with multiple microscopic strokes in dementia patients. It seems as if damage from plaques - for brain not affected by strokes - does not by itself necesserily lead to Alzheimer.

Re:Plaques / Alzheimer (1)

SB9876 (723368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960922)

That study really highlights the fact that there isn't really an 'Alzheimer's disease' as most people think of it. It's really a constellation of closely related degenerative diseases that happen to have similar gross pathologies. Just like cancer is a wide array of different causes and disease pathways, Alzheimer is most likely going to require various targeted treatment to attack the particular root cause of the dementia.

hm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8006079)

it's just a knockout study by a research group rearing to get a drug out in the market. It's important, but we still have no idea how abeta plaques get their cytotoxic properties. For all we know, the plaques will continue to chew up cells even if they are no longer actively produced by the brain (the plaques are stuck in a global free energy minimum and are really hard to pull apart)
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