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100 Year-Old Drug Halts Progress Of Alzheimer's

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the highly-speculative dept.

Biotech 108

pafischer writes "Several Australian and UK websites are running articles on this story. I'm shocked that I heard it on the Baltimore rock radio station news, but don't see it on any of the big US new websites. 'Clioquinol, developed 100 years ago, can absorb the zinc and copper compounds that concentrate in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers before dementia sets in, the study found.' Read all about it at ABC Radio AU, The Sidney Morning Herald, and The Age." Of course, the pathology of Alzheimer's is far from fully understood.

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7960370)

fp...did the rest of you forget to post?

Reason US sites aren't covering it (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960381)

It was on the AP wire a while back.

Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7960394)

100-year old drug means no patents. No patents means no profits. No profits means the drugco's won't TOUCH it. And in fact I wouldn't be surprised if we see some studies showing that it causes cancer or something.

Sorry folks. Alzheimer's won't get an effective until Pfizer is good and READY.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (4, Insightful)

MissMarvel (723385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960485)

The drug companies may not touch it, but this is one of the Big A illnesses... Alzheimer's, AIDS, and Autism. It could draw a lot of attention at the NIH level.

Remember, the drug companies weren't all that hot on research to oust hormone replacement therapy(HRT) either, but the Women's Health Initiative went forward with a vengance. As a result, Wyeth-Ayerst's Primarin took a nose-dive as millions of women decided to opt out of HRT.

This 100 year old drug may become a "hot topic" in upcoming medical research. I just hope they have a few more patients in the next study.

Lithium (4, Informative)

nmbg (740953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960997)

This is the same problem with lithium. Can't be patented, so it isn't profitable enough. Lithium has been shown to prevent beta-amyloid accumulation. While beta-amyloid plaques are only associated with (not known to be causative of) Alzheimer's, the fact is that lithium may inhibit the pathological process that produces such plaques far enough upstream to be just what the doctor ordered. One problem with lithium, however, is that it's tough on the kidneys. People of Alzheimer's age might not tolerate that well -- nor other side effects like tremors. Regardless, it's been in wide use since the early 70's for other things. I believe there's some NIH-sponsored thrust to conduct clinical trials with AD patients, but don't quote me on it. If you have access, search through this summer's issues of Nature for the review article on lithium.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (2, Insightful)

kurosawdust (654754) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960493)

OK,so assume ACME Pharmaceuticals realizes this - theyll probably say "hey, the other drug companies arent touching it + people want it = open market". Your conclusion that "Alzheimer's won't get an effective [drug]" is flawed because of this, I believe. I think its ridiculous to presume that *every* pharmaceutical company will sit on its hands when people want this drug and (under your assumption) nobody is supplying it.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (2, Informative)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961967)

There might be little guys that offer it in the short term, but it wouldn't take long for Pfizer et. al. to swoop in and mop the scene with a "New and Improved" version just for the sake of killing the little supplier to keep them from becoming a big, competing supplier. Once the little supplier is dead, they can the "New and Improved" version and nobody else has the guts to come stomping on that territory again.

It's the same general principle as a big, rich company setting up a crappy lean-to next to an existing gas station, then undercutting the price until you're both losing money on each sale. Eventually, if you have the cash reserves to survive the profit loss on sale and the other guy doesn't, the other guy dies off because he absolutely cannot cut his price any lower (and people are buying from you because you still have the lower price) and you tear down your lean-to and leave.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

LagDemon (521810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7970213)

Yes, but even better than putting your enemy out of business and then LEAVING, would be... wait for it... putting the competition out of business and RAISING YOUR PRICES! Wow... imagine that...

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7971984)

I work for Pfizer in Drug Discovery, i oversea two programmes for two quite diverse potential therapeutic agents. One of the first things we have to do is make sure the area / quality lead (and thus derivatives) are open to patent. Although i dont speak for the whole company, i can honestly say i can never see us marketing a non-patentable product.

There are a couple of issues. #1 would be that asian manufactures will ALWAYS be able to produce generics cheaper than ourselves (for a variety of reasons - staff costs, environmental costs, energy etc). #2 The only way we could ever afford to sell a pharmaceutical that wasnt patent protected is if we had built a strong brand (ie PREVIOUSLY patented) to ensure large enough consumer (medical practitioner/patient) awareness.

As for a smaller company doing such, i dont think it would be feasible, as they would have LESS of a marketing/promotional/"recognised name" advantage than the biggies.

(posting as AC as my ass would be fired if i didnt)

Wait a minute... (3, Informative)

A55M0NKEY (554964) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962325)

It's a 100 yr old drug that is already approved to treat *SOME* illness. Therefore somebody must make it already for that other purpose. Doctors can prescribe drugs for purposes other than that for which they were designed. They don't need anyone's permission. So where's the issue?

Re:Wait a minute... (1, Informative)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964412)

Doctors can prescribe drugs for purposes other than that for which they were designed.

Not if they're in the USA, and those purposes are not approved by the FDA, and they want to continue to practice medicine legally.

Re:Wait a minute... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964641)

Ever heard of taking aspirin for heart problems?

Re:Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7966323)

That moderation should be Score:-1, I-Don't-Have-A-Clue-What-I'm-Spouting.

Doctors in the US prescribe drugs for off-label uses all the time. It's perfectly legit. The drug companies can't market the drug for unapproved purposes, but that doesn't affect the doctors who prescribe it.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Doc Scratchnsniff (681952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966494)

Sure they can (it is called off-label prescribing), and do all the time. Some drugs are prescribed many _times_ more often off-label than on:
Link 1 [obesity-news.com]
Link 2 [topicalverapamil.com]
More from Google [google.com]

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975300)

There ya go. I did not know that.

Re:Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7966114)

Actually the company that discovers the old drug's new uses can patent that drug for the new use even if drug's orginal patent has expired. Even if the original patent wasn't expired, they could still patent it for the new use but they would have to license it from the orginal inventor.

I'm not a patent attorney but I took some patent law classes.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

daveashcroft (321122) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976875)

Which is why we in pharmaceutical development chose to patent synthetic routes to particular compounds as well as taking out "treatment" patents. That way if someone discovers a novel use for one of our compounds, if they want to market it, they will most probably have to license our IP... Or try and develop a better route. My job is to make sure that all bases are covered with regard to the chemistry.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (5, Insightful)

Meowing (241289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960512)

Tell that to the generic drug manufacturers, and the companies that have been cranking out the same public domain OTC remedies forever.

Really, drug manufacturers don't mind at all if you get better from disease A and live a bit longer, because they'll get to see you when you come down with disease B a few years later. See, the neat thing about the medical industry, from a financial standpoint, is that pretty much everyone manages to get real sick and even die sooner or later, so there's always going to be an opportunity to sell something.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975011)

OMG, this line of thought makes me really scared of my insurance company.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

Meowing (241289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7979313)

OMG, this line of thought makes me really scared of my insurance company.

Insurers, HMOs and such are scary for somewhat different reasons. Their job is to hold onto as much of your premium as they can, and keep it away from drug/device/diagnostic producers and healthcare providers unless there's no way around it. [Some plans are much more aggressive about this than others.] The bad news is that tradeoffs are being made on your behalf, between the absolute best treatment for a given problem and the least expensive one; the good news is that at least sometimes, manufacturers are pushed into offering more bang for the buck for a given treatment, to keep it in the running. You (in the form of those preiums that get higher every year) and the insurer both lose when a patented treatment comes along for some condition when there aren't any suitable alternatives available.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 10 years ago | (#7983031)

So in effect, everybody want's to keep you alive as long as:

premiums + deductable > cost of treatment

Once you get something where this isn't true, you can start thanking:
a) being part of a group plan that protects you or;
b) laws that keep you on a plan.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (5, Insightful)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960556)

Since when is nonsensical paranoia interesting? Common sense proves the AC's an idiot. Go down to your local pharmacy. Note the shelves full of dirt-cheap medications, both brand names and generics. Obviously drug companies can continue to make money off extremely old medications.

The reason is incredibly simple. The entire cost of a new medication comes from years and years of research. Not just of the medication that makes it to market, but of the ten which don't. Producing the actual pills costs virtually nothing.

So you see, it does make sense for drug companies to sell unpatented pills. They won't make a killing, but they don't need to: they invested no money in research of the medication, they have no losses to recoup. Even if they only make five cents per hundred thousand pills, it's five cents they wouldn't otherwise have.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (2, Insightful)

Cap'nMike (631536) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962321)

Note the phrase, "either this drug or a better drug we have in development". That is the best way for any of the big drug companies to make money off of a discovery like this, by offering a better functioning alternative. Your point is valid that older drugs still function and are still available, but if there is a faster or more effective alternative, almost anyone will spend more to give their older relations the better drug.

How do you suppose a drug gets approved... (1)

nmbg (740953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964520)

for a specific purpose? I'm not suggesting that these companies are evil. But why invest money when the government could do the work? You have to produce quarterly reports. Pharmaceutical companies invest the money necessary to run clinical trials. This still needs to be done with "old" medications to use them in new applications. Granted, it isn't as expensive as developing a drug de novo, but it takes people and resources away from developing far more profitable solutions. On the other hand, there will always be the incentive to build a better mouse trap. Companies will continue to search for "New and Improved!" drugs that have fewer or more palatable side effects, need fewer doses, etc.

Re:How do you suppose a drug gets approved... (1)

Meowing (241289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966862)

Not quite. Once a drug is on the market, there is no need to get it approved for additional uses unless the manufacturer wants to promote or advertise those additional uses. It can be prescribed without all that.

Where drug companies can get into trouble is if an over-eager rep goes and starts touting the unapproved uses to clients. This information needs to be spread through independent channels only, or agencies like FDA get really, really pissed. Getting those agencies mad is a really poor idea.

Advert^H^H^H^H^HResearch (1)

MadAhab (40080) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966623)

Sure, the AC is a paranoiac: Alzheimer's is not likely to be solved that easily or that soon. It's possible, but not likely. And so it's easy to have some paranoid foreboding - this probably won't be a widespread cure. But I have to call bullshit on you.

The major cost of new drugs is not research but advertising. Period. Junkets for doctors, samples, television, radio and print ads. It's an undisputed fact that the major drug companies spend twice as much on advertising as on drug development. Ever notice that Viagra's practically the official sponsor of Major League Baseball? That's not cheap.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7968870)

Note the shelves full of dirt-cheap medications, both brand names and generics.

Where the hell do you shop?? Canada or something?? /it's a joke, laugh

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (3, Informative)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961583)

100-year old drug means no patents. No patents means no profits.

The AC is wrong on two levels. First, the pharmaceutical industry is full of manufacturers that make generic drugs. These companies make profits through efficient manufacturing and distribution (versus through patents and R&D). Most people don't know about these makers because the companies have no reason to advertise.

Second, because this is a 100-year old drug, it's approved and out there. Although nobody can advertise that the drug works for Alzheimer's until somebody does all the expensive regulatory clinical studies, any doctor can prescribe the drug of any "off-label" use. If enough web-enabled family members of Alzheimer's victims learn of the drug, they will demand the treatment from doctors, find a doctor who will give this treatment, or find an online pharmacy that wil provide the drug.

The bottomline line is that we don't need the big pharma companies to create either supply or demand for a drug.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961624)

The bottomline line is that we don't need the big pharma companies to create either supply or demand for a drug.

Obviously you never saw Johnny MNemonic?

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7961855)

The generic pills we can buy are popular medications that the patent has recently expired on, and mostly things that have at least been popular since that happened. This drug fell off the map and then came back on to it. This makes it easy to whip up some doubt about it. Also alzheimer's is something the big drug companies still haven't cashed in on yet. I can't see them just letting it go without a fight. The FDA likes to talk about how natural medicines are not regulated, implying a lack of safety. The reason the FDA doesn't regulate them is because they are extremely corrupt, and abused their powers when they did regulate natural medicines. They usually leave that fact out. Do a google search on stevia FDA [google.com] to see what they have tried to do to a natural sweetener that competes with nutrasweet (and unlike nutrasweet, doesn't metabolize into methanol (the alcohol that makes you blind) and formaldehyde (the stuff used to preserve dead people)). You might be surprised. The FDA will gladly steal manuscripts [colorado.edu] of a book about stevia, and even order the destruction [www.gene.ch] of books already printed that talk about it. All because their buddy Monsanto asked them nicely.

I am sure the original poster knows about generic drugs, but I am sure the original poster also knows how profitable it would be for a drug company to spin up some bad press about this drug, get it banned, and then rush a new drug, with one atom of the molecule changed, out to the market. They can then say this new drug fixes the imaginary problems of the last one, charge an assload for it, and everybody will be glad they waited!

The ones that aren't glad about it can just keep their mouths shut, and be glad they didn't get arrested for their illegal canadian imports of the drug they used on their dying relatives. Remember: In Corporate America, the government controls YOU.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964170)

Offtopic? Try unpopular. See you in meta-mod.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964787)

Sadly meta-mod only reinforces this type of abuse, but clearly labeling the abuse like this at least makes it easy to spot in the odd case where an honest meta-moderator gets it and clicks on the context link.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964860)

_always_ check the context of comments that are moderated down in metamod. unless it is clearly just a GNAA troll.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

JohnPM (163131) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964250)

The bottomline line is that we don't need the big pharma companies to create either supply or demand for a drug.

Further proof, if we needed it, may be found by considering the ecstasy market.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962376)

Somebody help me out here...

I know that the pharmacos live by their patents and that's why they're willing to spend billions on R&D for a single drug.

But what cost would there be in using this drug to treat Alzheimer's? Even if cheap clones were available, why not enter the market at an already-low price point? How many people have Alzheimer's? Times pills per day for a year, divided by clone makers equals a shit ton of money, right?

If I had a safe, easy cure for cancer in my lab, I'd sell it for 20 bucks a shot. I might not have a market forever but I bet the demand curve would be a big flat line all the way at the top while it lasts!

GTRacer
- Didn't take organic chem...

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7962548)

The problem with this scenario is that you are a decent human being. Drug company CEO's don't even pass as human, let alone decent. They will do everything in their power to kill this drug if it is effective, and then come up with a slightly different drug that they can patent and make way more money on.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7963381)

I'm not suggesting that they behave humanely...just that this is another way to fabulous wealth and great PR. I mean really, what's the practical difference between a billion dollars, give or take an order of magnitude? At some point, unless you're planning a shopping trip to Magrathea, the zeroes become insignificant!

GTRacer
- Would be happy with a thousandth of a percent of MS's total value

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7963652)

Seriously, you don't get it. Every word you say makes sense, don't get me wrong. You just have to remember that these people don't make sense. They take greed to such an extreme it is a mental illness. Look at the whole Africa/AIDS thing. The reason they don't want AIDS drugs in Africa is not that it would be expensive for them. It would be very cheap. It could be free. Others could produce the drugs and then it wouldn't cost a dime. The reason they fight so hard against it is that Africans are dirt poor, so the drugs would be sold dirt cheap. Dirst cheap AIDS drugs would eventually make it back to the USA in black markets, which would cut into the real profits from AIDS drugs (Americans who aren't dirt poor). The people in Africa can die before that happens. Drug company CEO's are inhuman and mentally ill to the extreme. To you it is a few extra zeros. To them it is EVERYTHING.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962641)

It takes at least 10 years (and more likely 15-18) from when you can last patent, to when you can fisrt sell it. During that time you are losing a lot of money. You pay the people who design the drug, the people pushing all the paperwork, make the drug (and not in an efficant assembly line yet unless you also want to pay to setup the line) the people testing the drugs. Not to mention all the taxes and utilities and such. Then very few drugs are approved, so you also have the overhead of other drugs you started that eventially proved to be seriously flawed. When you finially can sell that you need to pay off the loans for all of the above, and you need to do it quick because once the patent expires your compitition doesn't have to pay them off so their overhead is lower.

Note that the FDA does have a few rules in place to make this a little easier on those developing a new drug, but it isn't much and may not apply all situations.

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7963445)

No no no...I understand the traditional research-patent-trial-filter-blockbuster-lather-ri nse-repeat cycle.

I'm just curious why people would think the pharmacos would pass on an unpatentable drug like Clioquinol purely because it's unpatentable. There's still lots of money, and great PR to be had if someone takes it to market and puts a real dent in Alzheimer's progress.

I mean, look at aspirin, or acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Or Tagamet and its clones. Lots-o-dough!

GTRacer
- Profit motive and humanity are not always mutually exclusive

Re:Watch the big drug companies kill this QUICK (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7963732)

Okay, so say someone does decide to presue this. They spend 10 years getting approval. IIRC the FDA gives them 3 years to sell this with a monopoly (they won't approve anyone else to sell it to reward those who put effort into research). So they have 3 years to makeup the costs of researching it. What if early on it looks like it will only help 0.5% of the people with alzheimers, which even though they can perdict with certency who it will help, ends up being a tiny population. Basicly they won't be able to sell enough of this drug in 3 years to make up the costs of continuing. Only a stupiud company would continue one. (at least without outside help, grants do exists for this situation if they can get one)

sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8006092)

sorry, this drug is rediculous. Metal ion chelation is completely non specific for alzheimers, and completely neglects any sort of attempt at truly understanding the disease. In a certain way, this is even more heinous than drug companies, at least some of the time they are interested in a biophysical understanding of the phenomenon. This is based completely on bogus epidemiology and "post hoc ergo propter hoc" biopsy analysis.

Just because metal ions appear in plaques doesn't mean that they caused the formation of the plaques.

It's be great to see this thing finally killed (4, Insightful)

ChopsMIDI (613634) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960396)

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: How reliable is the study if it is only 36 patients?

COLIN MASTERS: This is, again, a pilot study, so our next step is to take it into a much larger series of patients, either this drug or a better drug we have in development. What we have on the drawing boards is a better version of this drug which is more effective and will probably go into trials hopefully before the end of this year.


I'd like to see the results after a much more extensive study has been conducted. If this really works, which at least with these preliminary tests suggest, it'd be nice to see alzheimers start to go the way if the dodo.

Re:It's be great to see this thing finally killed (4, Informative)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960603)

Just so you know:

They aren't really that close.

If you look at the graphs associated with the original paper, which is published in Archives of Neurology if you've got a way to access it (I've got a Tufts University account that I can use) - they don't show that patients regain cognitive functioning. In fact, all patients throughout the study lose cognitive functioning as measured on their ADAS cognitive sub-scale.

Their most interesting finding, imho, is the 3 month period where patients on their drug hold relatively steady, and other patients have a slight decline (the difference is really only about 2 points on a 1-70 point rating scale, while the ADAS is 1-120).

Is this statistically significant? Yes, I think so. And practically, I think any improvement in patients is significant. But I don't think it's significant enough to claim that the disease has been eradicated.

Original Article Info, for anyone who wants to look it up:

Metal-Protein Attenuation With Iodochlorhydroxyquin (Clioquinol) Targeting A[beta] Amyloid Deposition and Toxicity in Alzheimer Disease: A Pilot Phase 2 Clinical Trial
Ritchie, Craig W. MBChB, MRCPsych; Bush, Ashley I. MBBS, PhD, FRANZCP; Mackinnon, Andrew PhD; Macfarlane, Steve MBBS; Mastwyk, Maree BN; MacGregor, Lachlan MBBS; Kiers, Lyn MBBS, FRACP; Cherny, Robert PhD; Li, Qiao-Xin PhD; Tammer, Amanda PhD; Carrington, Darryl BSc; Mavros, Christine BSc; Volitakis, Irene BSc; Xilinas, Michel MD, DSc; Ames, David MD; Davis, Stephen MD, FRACP; Beyreuther, Konrad PhD; Tanzi, Rudolph E. PhD; Masters, Colin L. MD
Volume 60(12) December 2003 p 1685-1691
Archives of Neurology

Testing testing testing - Re:It's be great to see (2, Interesting)

leoaugust (665240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960727)

This is, again, a pilot study, so our next step is to take it into a much larger series of patients, either this drug or a better drug we have in development. What we have on the drawing boards is a better version of this drug which is more effective and will probably go into trials hopefully before the end of this year.
This is just a pilot study with a small number of patients.
  • First it has to be scaled up to involve a lot more people.
  • Secondly there has to be long term monitoring of the side-effects of the medication on a much larger population - you need to have samples of young and old, sick with A or B, taking medication x or y, with previous condition of m or n, etc.
  • Thirdly, you have to find companies with big pockets that can finance the research, massive clinical trials, manufacture the drug, and then help put it on the doctor's prescription pad.
  • Fourthly, in the US the FDA is probably going to take 10 years or more to approve this. And in the intervening 10 years FDA may decide not to approve it after all, so the risk in trying to commercialize a drug is enormous.
  • Fifthly, there are many products that show potential early on, but then in the Phase 2 or 3 they find something not-good about it. And then down the toilet it goes.
  • Sixthly, the early investors may find the news a something that they can speculate based on (even that is too early for this drug) but for the rest it is a long long slog, and a small probability, that this drug will finally enter the market.
  • So, it is not that big a news to be making headlines worldwide.

Re:Testing testing testing - Re:It's be great to s (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962506)

Though personally I'd prefer to live to 75 without alzheimers by taking a drug that kills me eventially, than live to 80, but suffer from alzheimers for the last 10.

I've known people with alzheimers. It isn't easy. Seeing people with fridges full of rotten food because the kids are coming to visit. (well they were 2 years ago when she remembers it from, and many times since, but this month they can't) Starting to drive somewhere, and half way there forget where they are going. And many more things, if you know someone with it, you know a lot of variations on it.

Not I, but Y (just a tad offtopic) (1)

deek (22697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960413)


As much as I hate to be a spelling vigilante, I really have to point out that it's spelt SYDNEY. It annoys me no end when people use 'i' in Sydney. Luckily, the Sydney Morning Herald get it right.

Re:Not I, but Y (just a tad offtopic) (1)

go$$amer (218906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7970279)

Well, apparently some poorly spelled words r xceptible in in cidnee....

Sorry I'm even offer topic....

Article title is grossly inaccurate (5, Informative)

Tuxinatorium (463682) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960821)

100 Year-Old Drug Halts Progress Of Alzheimer's Rather, all the drug has been shown to do in this study is stop a few of the many chemical abnormalities that are coincident with alzheimers. It is unknown whether these chemicals actually do anything to cause alzheimers. They may as well be a byproduct of it, for all we know. It is also unknown how else this drug alters brain chemistry and what the side effects of that could be. So proclaiming it a miracle cure is very premature.

Symptoms of Alzheimers... (4, Funny)

floydigus (415917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961551)

1. Loss of short term memory.
2. Confusion.
3. Short term memory loss.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (2, Funny)

paganizer (566360) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961704)

4. ??
5. Profit!

I've never, ever posted one of these lame jokes before, I just couldn't help myself.
BTW, I'm of the opinion that if there is a disease or imbalance, there is a natural/herbal treatment for it; we may not ever find it, but I bet it is their.
Um. does anyone have a mnemonic for when to use "there" as opposed to "their" in a sentence? I've been having problems with it for like 30 years.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7962365)

Well the rate of Alzheimer's has been increasing rapidly, so I don't at all doubt that it can be prevented naturally. Just eat healthy unprocessed foods like our bodies evolved to do, and don't take in so many preservatives, pollutants, etc. Alzheimer's along with a bunch of other diseases would be much less common.

That will never happen because people are too arrogant and ignorant, and somehow feel that they are cheating themselves if they don't suck down mad-cow and nitrite filled hotdogs, nutritionally empty processed foods, etc.

As for a cure, well I guess I need to share an opinion of mine about Americans first. Most fall into two groups. One thinks all medicines should be synthetic pills you buy from a store, and the other thinks all medicines should be natural. In my opinion, both groups are extremely idealistic and ignorant.

Imagine a carrot. Are there chemicals in it? Sure, vitamin C, sugars, stuff like that. Is there anything in that carrot that is not a chemical? Absolutely not! The entire carrot is made out of chemicals. Nothing that you can touch or see is not made entirely out of chemicals. The fact is, plants make chemicals, and so do scientists.

Plants have a very diverse collection of chemicals available to us to use as medicines. Most drugs made today are only variants of natural chemicals. At the same time, scientists can tweak these chemicals and get different effects from them.

The bottom line is that if you are excluding either natural or synthetic chemicals as medicines, your idealistic thoughts will likely result in less than optimal health. Don't be closed minded. I am talking to both groups of people when I say this.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7963416)

Bizarre. Completely bizarre. You know I have read a lot of arguments for and against natural and synthetic drugs. When I first read your comment I expected it to be one of those, you use the same arguments after all. What is so bizarre about it is that this is the first time I didn't get that dirty i-am-being-tricked feeling. It actually made sense this time. Thanks!

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7971695)

Well the rate of Alzheimer's has been increasing rapidly, so I don't at all doubt that it can be prevented naturally. Just eat healthy unprocessed foods like our bodies evolved to do, and don't take in so many preservatives, pollutants, etc. Alzheimer's along with a bunch of other diseases would be much less common.

Of course, Alzheimer's has also certainly increased as our lifespan increased past 30 years...

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7971875)

Maybe average life span. People really aren't living much longer. There are just less 0-10 year olds dying lately. The people who do make it to old age are doing less well than previously.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (0, Offtopic)

Lovepump (58591) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962412)

"Their" when you are referring to another person/group of people.

e.g. "Their behaviour was shocking considering their viewpoint on narcotics"

"There" otherwise.

"Those people over there were heavily drugged."

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964914)

"Those people over there were heavily drugged off their asses and better be careful or they're going to get busted.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966461)

BTW, I'm of the opinion that if there is a disease or imbalance, there is a natural/herbal treatment for it; we may not ever find it, but I bet it is their.

I don't want to come down too hard on you, but you've just asserted an unprovable hypothesis. To say, based on no other evidence, that such treatments exist even if never found seems a remarkable leap of faith...

On the other hand, many (indeed, the vast majority) of drugs in use today are derived from so-called 'natural' sources. The chemistry is often tweaked (more or less heavily) to increase potency and reduce harmful side effects. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is closely related to the 'natural' salicin found in willow bark. (Indeed, aspirin was originally developed from bark extracts.)

At what point does a product stop counting as 'natural'? Is it all right to extract the active ingredient from a plant and call the product natural? Purification is okay...or not? Milk is still natural after it's been homogenized and pasteurized--right?

Can a drug company generate the same compound in the lab using organic synthetic chemistry? It's the same compound, it should still qualify as 'natural', right?

What if they make a little chemical substitution to cut out an unwanted side effect or two? Does it become unnatural after one methylation? Two? How about an extra acetyl group?

What if instead of coming from a plant, it comes from a bacterium? That's where penicillin first originated...that's natural, right? What if a scientist encourages mutations of the bacterium, and those mutations result in a more potent drug? What if genetic modifications are made deliberately? Is it still natural as long as it comes from a living organism?

At this point, if readers agree that the drug in question is still 'natural', then we're encompassing nearly all drugs in use today. (There's a few exceptions; mostly inorganic drugs like cisplatin for chemotherapy and lithium carbonate for bipolar disorder.) If not, then where does one draw the line? And a second (but related) question--why is there a presumption that 'natural' remedies are better for you than 'artificial' ones? I can think of any number of totally natural substances that are still quite deadly. Hemlock. Nightshade. Those little brightly-coloured frogs...don't want to lick those.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (-1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 10 years ago | (#7967906)

nmenoic, umm dont fell like looking it up, but i think to answer your last question, think of there as T"here" or a place

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7968907)

no mnemonic needed. its just a rule that you use 'their' when refering to a posession of something. IE. The kids ate their ice cream. and the latter being a placement of things. IE put the icecream over there. btw i didnt graduate

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (1)

CTachyon (412849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7970772)

Um. does anyone have a mnemonic for when to use "there" as opposed to "their" in a sentence? I've been having problems with it for like 30 years.

I just thought of one, so here ya' go. "Their" is the posessive of "they". Think tHEIR -> HEIR -> inHEIRitance -> ownership. Combine that with the tHERE -> HERE -> place association by another reply, and you should have a handy pair of 'em.

Re:Symptoms of Alzheimers... (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 10 years ago | (#7971955)

Thats Insane!
But, it just. might. work.

The Back story: I had a Evil 6th grade Grammer teacher (at Raccoon Elementary school, Raccoon township, illinois) who insisted that unless you learned the predicates, prepositions, participles, etc, you could not survive in society. As I was reading Asimov & Niven at the time, and could write sentences that were completely understandable, I thought this was a load of crap.
So, I didn't bother paying any attention whatsoever to grammer until 12th grade, and then managed to ace the tests while still ignoring homework, so received a bare passing grade.
I continued on this course through college; I have everything credit-wise I need for 1 or 2 bachelors degrees except English Comp 1 & 2.
To this day, whenever anyone starts talking about this crap, I only hear "blah, blah blah, blah blah blah".
To make a long story less long, I must have stopped paying attention when that little gem was handed out.
It does suck not being able to help my kids with their (woohoo!) homework in grammer.

I'm sure .... (1)

nosfucious (157958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961675)

that Juan Antonio Samaranch was very pleased that Sidney was going to host the Olympic games but was very dissapointed when Sydney, New South Wales, Australia actually got them.

On the other hand, Sydney did a nice job hosting the Olympic Games.

very interesting - especially considering BSE/CJD (2, Interesting)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961831)

It's been known for the past few years that Alzheimer's and Creutzfeld-Jacobs Disease (CJD) are eerily similar [bbc.co.uk] , especially considering that the symptoms of Alzheimer's and CJD are also eerily similar.

In fact, at least 13% [cyber-dyne.com] of Alzheimer's cases are indeed CJD caused by mad cow. If larger studies were done, this percentage could end up much higher.

It may turn out that Alzheimer's is due to mad cow, or its predecessor, mad sheep (scrapie).

I hope that any new studies of this drug also focus on how it works in people versus CJD.

All over the beef-eating world, we are seeing CJD very early in people. Italy's only known case of CJD was a man who was merely 27 years old [bbc.co.uk] . Given CJD's incubation time, it would indicate that mad cow/BSE/CJD has been in Italy anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

For transmission between people, CJD is a blood borne disease [bbc.co.uk] , similar to HIV in how it spreads. This would explain why the ramp on Alzheimer's is so rapid and why so many young people are getting Alzheimer's.

Almost all the medical news regarding mad cow/BSE/CJD has been killed in the US. The simplest assumption would be that there is far more mad cow in the system than anyone wants to say. Only a ingenuous imbecile would think that out of over 35 million cows that are killed every year in the US, over the past 10 years or more, only 1 cow from Canada had BSE/mad cow. Especially considering that the US imports 1.7 million cows from Canada every year. And 1 million from Mexico. In both countries, Canada and Mexico, they have followed the US lead and perform near zero mad cow/BSE testing.

Anyhow, that is a lot on the crazy cow. I am hoping a fool's hope that Alzheimer's does not turn out to be caused by crazy cow. For if it is, there will be an epidemic of dementia in the USA unless a cure is found in the immediate future.

Of course an upcoming unstoppable Alzheimer's epidemic... would clearly explain the sudden and massive urge to offshore all jobs that require brain power to India, land of the sacred cow :-)

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7961912)

Someone give this guy a +1, Terrifying

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7962483)

Ugh really. I have been vegan for 5 years and all I can think is "why didn't I stop sooner". If I end up losing my mind in 30 years, those texas cattle ranchers better have died from mad cow before I do or else...

Unless some miracle like nanotechnology suddenly becomes available, the only cure I can think of is removal of your entire brain. This isn't a simple bacteria folks.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7968044)

, the only cure I can think of is removal of your entire brain.

So, the good news is that most Slashdotters aren't vulnerable to CJD, then!

~~~

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 10 years ago | (#7961946)

It may turn out that Alzheimer's is due to mad cow, or its predecessor, mad sheep (scrapie). There is little to no chance that alzheimers is caused by mad-cow. Is it a related disease? Perhaps. The same disease? Not a chance.
The simplest assumption would be that there is far more mad cow in the system than anyone wants to say
This is stupid. The *simplest* assumption is that there is no mad cow in the system, and to assume that the above is an insane conspiracy theory. Perhaps the fact that there is no known mad cow in the system holds less weight with you than it should.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7962096)

No, the simplest and most logical assumption is that there is indeed mad cow in the system.

Over 13% of Alzheimer's deaths in the US are actually caused by mad cow. Using simple logic, one can see that there must be quite a bit of mad cow in the system to cause that many deaths.

Also, that there is mad cow in the USA on the loose is the simplest assumption because close to zero testing has been done in the US -- making the situation very similar to what happened in Britain/Europe before they found major BSE/mad cow infections.

Years ago in Britain and Europe, the same thing happened. The cows were not being tested, industry asserted for a long time that the meat was safe, time went by, people got CJD, there was a public uproar, the cows were tested, many cows were found to have BSE/mad cow, many cows were killed, and testing was finally implemented.

Great Britain and Europe learned the hard way. I've seen major resistance to testing American cows from the beef industry even though the extra cost would be very small. As with Britain, there can only be one reason that there is such resistance -- high mad cow infection rates.

The US has imported tens of millions of animals from countries that are known to have mad cow. The US has not done any real testing for mad cow. A certain percentage of female mad cows give birth to calves that have mad cow, thus producing domestic mad cow. Which again is not tested for.

Check the facts and you will see that there is a high likelihood that Americans have eaten millions of pounds of BSE/mad cow infected beef. Just the last tiny alert (from *one* cow) caused a recall of over 13,000 lbs of meat, some of which had already been eaten by a Seattle family that has come forward. It is not unreasonable to think that hundreds of families were exposed to mad cow just from the last tiny alert.

From a risk management perspective, it is very dangerous to be eating beef in the US. Not only are the cows not tested for mad cow/BSE, but it has been shown that over 13% of Alzheimer's fatalities are actually mad cow/CDJ deaths. The situation is very similar to what happened in both Britain and Europe, so there is little reason to doubt it will also happen in the US. Which means many infections and many deaths are on the way.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7963139)

I would love to see some sources on these purported facts you are quoting.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7963284)

Try clicking on some of the links then, especially the 13% one. It is filled with journal references.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7965933)

No, I meant sources for the purported facts, such as....

"In fact, at least 13% [cyber-dyne.com] of Alzheimer's cases are indeed CJD caused by mad cow. If larger studies were done, this percentage could end up much higher."

The study that the poster is quoting has nothing to do with the statement that mad cow disease could be a cause of CJD. That study merely claims (and probably rightly so) that a certain small percentage of diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease turned out to be CJD instead. No mention is made of beef, cows, or mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephaly).

However, a Google search [google.com] reveals that the study *is* widely quoted by opponents of beef consumption, animal rights activists, and the "organic" foods industry, in an effort to claim - through logical fallacy - that BSE is a direct cause of CJD, and that CJD is widespread in the U.S. already.

So, once again, I would like to see some citations of studies which directly show that the poster's assertion is true - namely, that BSE is widespread in the U.S., and that it has already caused numerous cases of CJD here.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966992)

Here's a recap [nih.gov] from December 2003 of what is happening with CJD.

As the article says, it's possible that tens of thousands of cases of CJD in the US are going unrecognized.

Modern research is showing that prion-like proteins are involved with memory according to this article [dementia.com] (note the links to Cell at the end).

There's a lot more information out there. It's not to say that everything is 100% understood at this point in time. What we do know...

(1) Alzheimer's is on an incredibly fast ramp to the point where there is something called "early onset Alzheimer's".

(2) It is likely that CJD is vastly underdiagnosed in the US.

(3) There is a possibility that Alzheimer's may be caused, at least in part, by CJD. I am not alone in this assertion. Stanley Prusiner, awarded the Nobel prize for the discovery of prions, has similar suspicions and there is currently research being funded that is investigating the role of prions in memory and Alzheimer's.

If you are a beef eater, I'd suggest looking into the matter. Life is precious and as the British and Europeans found out the hard way... better not left solely in the hands of governments and industry.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7968944)

Despite being a link to an NIH web page, the NIH actually archives most or all health-related stories submitted via UPI/Reuters/AP there, regardless of credibility.

As with most mainstream media, the news article cited no references, leaving the public sitting anywhere between apathy and hysteria with no real way to verify facts and separate those facts from mere unbased assertions.

The other link to dementia.com is very interesting. But that's only because it indicates that prions may play a normal role in normal memory behavior. Now, there isn't anything particularly surprising that this is possible, since evolution tends to take advantage of any mechanism it can (including that of prions). Still, it interests me that science may be a bit closer to understanding how memory works.

Still, none of the sources you have quoted provide a shred of evidence that any cases of CJD in the U.S. have been caused by eating BSE prion tainted beef.

by the way.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8006153)

You should probably know that stanley pruisner is widely considered to be an *ass* in the scientific community, he stole his results from a grad student, and the person who did the seminal research in the field actually completed his results much earlier than pruisner.

Nonetheless, Pruisner himself (not long after winning his nobel), in a lecture at NIH proclaimed doubt that vCJD was caused by consumption of beef. The epidemiology doesn't add up -- why does vCJD only strike young people? If it has such a long incubation time, why isn't there a serious upsurge of vCJD cases in britain? (the cow slaughtering was *concurrent* with the human epidemic).

In fact, pruisner postulated that transmission was actually caused by tonsilectomies. Dentists often clean their scalpels with alcohol, which is not enough to denature prion protofibrils. This is possibly also wrong (because the victims did not share dentists) but it certainly brings into focus the ambiguity of what we know about BSE transmission.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (1)

trixillion (66374) | more than 10 years ago | (#7963543)

"The simplest assumption would be that there is far more mad cow in the system than anyone wants to say"
This is stupid. The *simplest* assumption is that there is no mad cow in the system, and to assume that the above is an insane conspiracy theory. Perhaps the fact that there is no known mad cow in the system holds less weight with you than it should.


Inflamatory, perhaps. Stupid... who made you the bearer of all knowledge?

If one downer has Mad Cow Disease out of the 20,500 downers tested and there were 200,000 (estimate cited by our government) to 1,000,000 downers (estimate cited by non-industry sources) in the same year, then it doesn't take a degree in math to see that it is probable that there were many missed cases. The expected number of such missed cases is between 10-50, however with only a single reported case the uncertainties are quite large. Nevertheless, the public should be alarmed by the implications of 50-250 tons of infected beef having been already consumed by Americans.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (2, Interesting)

Arthur Dent (76567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964682)

Actually, there is no record of 20,500 downers being tested. UPI has been requesting the test results for a while now and was told that theUSDA is still searching for the test documentation [bfn.org] .
USDA officials told UPI as recently as Dec. 17 the agency still is searching for documentation of its mad cow testing results from 2002 and 2003.

UPI initially requested the documents on July 10, and the agency sent a response letter dated July 24, saying it had launched a search for any documents pertaining to mad cow tests from 2002 and 2003.

"If any documents exist, they will be forwarded," USDA official Michael Marquis wrote in the letter.

Despite this and a 30-day limit under the Freedom of Information Act on responding to such a request, the USDA never sent any corresponding documents. The agency's FOI office also did not return several calls from UPI placed over a series of months.

I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

girl_geek_antinomy (626942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7963745)

In fact, at least 13% [cyber-dyne.com] of Alzheimer's cases are indeed CJD caused by mad cow.

A citation. Please. A *real* one, not the drivel that appears on that website you linked to, which I can only presume is your own. Go on, find that article in PubMed [nih.gov] and let us read more than that. That's not evidence, it's a statement. I'm convinced that you're a hysterical idiot without the first bloody idea what you're on about. You might just convince me that your brains aren't completely rotted if you can at least produce a proper citation for this fact of yours.

*deep breath*

I don't normally lose my rag with people like this, but *pul-lease*. As a science graduate and clinical Vet student, this kind of thing really really does my nut. Hysterical, unfounded, poorly argued pseudo-scientific bullshit. You might as well argue that gastric ulcers and appendicitis are the same thing 'cos they both cause acute stomach pain. Come back when you have the first idea what you're on about, or better, don't come back at all.

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966229)

I googled the paper mentioned in that cyber-dyne link, and found that in numerous other articles, that paper is referenced for the sole purpose of quoting the 13% statistic which results from a sample of 46 individuals.

The abstract is listed in PubMed [nih.gov] , but does not purport to make any statements on mad cow/BSE.

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966797)

If you have an authentic desire to understand what is going on, go and do the research yourself. Very few posts on Slashdot are intended to be self-contained proofs. Do the research instead of throwing a silly temper tantrum and dumping your anger on me. That's just the act of an emotionally immature little girl.

As you are going into some sort of medical field, I hope you learn how to be a pro-active thinking sort of person, not just a reactive "lose your rag" naysayer.

Let me remind you from your study of the history of science that you know many ideas that turned out to be right at first met violent opposition from the scientific community. History has shown us that many scientists do very poorly at considering and accepting new ideas. At least in your ability to reject new ideas, you seem well on the way to being a good run of the mill mediocre scientist.

Stanley Prusiner, the scientist who coined the term prion, originally speculated that Alzheimer's may in fact turn out to be a prion disease. This speculation came in the mid 1980's.

Of course you know that Stanley Prusiner [nobel.se] was award the Nobel prize for his work with prions, don't you?

I would at least consider the ideas of a Nobel prize-winning scientist, not reject them outright. It may not be that 100% mad cow = Alzheimer's as the body is a very complex system. However, mad cow could certainly be a leading factor in why Alzheimer's is growing at an amazing pace and being found in many younger people.

In today's most modern research, we are finding evidence that prion-like structures are involved with how memory works. Here's some information [dementia.com] from a dementia site, note the links to Cell at the end.

Here's a December 29, 2003 recap [nih.gov] from a government website of some of what is going on.

I could provide you with many many links and sources, but I suspect you will be a closed-minded doubter until either CJD rears its ugly in your life or you go ahead and do the research yourself.

Here are a few more places to start exploring --

#123400 CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE; CJD [nih.gov]

variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease Citations 1-10 of 66 total displayed. [bmjjournals.com]

That's all. If you eat beef, I would strongly urge you to do the research. Your life and the lives of people you care about may be at stake :-)

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7968071)

Trolling at it's worst.

He (or she) asked for a source for your claims, giving her an article citation that proved or even claimed linkage between the two wouldn't have been out of the question. Ranting about his (or her) scientific shortcomings was completely unneccessary. In all areas of science background reading or citations are provided with all claims of proof or fact.

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7971093)

You are making a defense of a person who was insulting and demeaning without any need to be so:

"not the drivel that appears on that website you linked to, which I can only presume is your own."

"I'm convinced that you're a hysterical idiot without the first bloody idea what you're on about."

"You might just convince me that your brains aren't completely rotted..."

"...or better, don't come back at all."

Additionally this person hypocritically didn't offer any information herself, didn't put an ounce of effort into making anything better, just into making insults and complaints. You don't just slam someone for bringing up a potentially critical issue, especially early on when not all the facts are known.

If you look at the other responses, people did actually use Google and look into what was referenced on the site that "Antimony" had an issue with. At least in Mozilla the amount of effort to do that is miminal, less than 5 seconds of work to get the search going. Of course to do a proper research paper on CJD/mad cow/Alzheimer's is out of the scope of a Slashdot comment. Prusiner and others are funded with many millions of dollars to do that work.

As for your own comment... calling me a "troll" because I point out a maddened complainer who also happens to be a hypocrite... is just classic. Anyone who doesn't agree with you is a "troll", eh? I may not have been "nice" in my answer, but being "nice" to "not nice" people is merely giving positive reinforcement to abusive behavior. That may be your gig, but it ain't mine.

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7975331)

I still don't understand why you don't link an article. It's not that complicated.

The *point* of the post was that you had no scientific evidence in the post. Posting some wouldn't be that hard. ;)

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976909)

Pardon me, but there's not much I can do if someone is unwilling to read the link!

If you read the link I originally posted, there are excerpts from many medical publications. No, the references are not hyperlinked. But they are in text form, so it is a small step for the reader to highlight any particular publication reference and right click "Web search" (in Mozilla). Thus with a miniscule effort, the nasty naysayer could have explored all the medical publications. Note that many online medical journals require registration and/or subscription which may be why the author of the page I linked to does not have hyperlinks. Some of the references can be tracked down using the method I described above at other sites, though.

For example, one of the referenced publications on misdiagnosed atypical dementias is available on the NIH site [nih.gov] .

Additionally in a later post, I provided a link to a site that contained 66 citations regarding CDJ and Alzheimer's. I am certainly not going to go through all 66 publications and find all the appropriate bits and pieces, compile them, and then post them here all because someone is too lazy to read through the supplied links (all of which are hyperlinked).

As I have said before, it is Stanley Prusiner, the Nobel prize winning scientist who discovered prions, who first suspected the linkage between BSE and CJD. There has been a lot of research, including the findings that CDJ is being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's and other dementias. So if for some reason you think it is all a hoax, I would suggest looking into Prusiner's research as well as the research of other scientists in this subject area.

In sum, I have provided links or text references to nearly 100 pieces of information supporting what I originally posted. I would invite you (and any others) to do the reading and then continue on with research sufficient to your needs.

Cheers.

Re:I hate to follow up this kind of drivel, but... (1)

daveashcroft (321122) | more than 10 years ago | (#7977020)

Mooooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooo

Sorry, but someone had to say it.

Re:very interesting - especially considering BSE/C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7965055)

Alzheimer's do get amyloid plaques, but, as far as I can recall, do not get spongiform damage, like that associated with BSE, human BSE, kuru, scrapie, etc. Am I wrong?

This is garbage. If you want to talk science... (2, Informative)

nmbg (740953) | more than 10 years ago | (#7970511)

learn it first. Autopsied Alzheimer's brain shows no sign of the prion-nucleated chain reaction that is characteristic of Mad Cow or other prion diseases. It is amyloid-beta that accumulates in Alzheimer's. And it isn't even known whether the amyloid "plaques" are causative or simply an anomalous by-product.

Re:This is garbage. If you want to talk science... (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7971140)

I don't make any claims to being a prion/Alzheimer's scientist, so please chill out on whatever harcore "proved from quantum theory and up" version of "science" that is running around in your head.

There was violent resistance to the very concept of "mad cow" in the first place... resistance that caused many more people and cows to die.

No one understands 100% how Alzheimer's works or how people get CJD. Initial reports have shown that CJD does come from mad cow and that CJD does have many of the same symptoms as Alzheimer's.

Of course what is going on is not 100% known and understood at this time. However, being dismissive of new ideas in the absence of full knowledge is even more stupid than being assertive of them. Many discoveries in science come from looking into things that don't make complete sense -- or any sense. If you think all "science" happens in a 100% provable at all times manner, you are sadly mistaken.

Prusiner, the Nobel winner for discovering prions, believes the linkages between NSE/CJD and Alzheimer's are worth looking into. If you want the "science" version of what I'm trying to discuss, talk to him or another qualified scientist.

What happened with mad cow / BSE / CJD in Great Britain and Europe was that it was very difficult to get any information at first. The information was being censored by the government and industry. It wasn't until more people died that the people forced the government to abandon their cover up.

Rather than having people in the US suffer from that same sort of cover up abuse, I am pointing out something that beef eaters should look into for their own safety.

sorry, you are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8006121)

I disagree with the above person's posting (see the diabetes posting below) -- but Alzheimer's abeta does show nucleation kinetics that are characteristic of *all* amyloid, including PrP. (mad cow/kuru/scrapie)

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8006111)

Did you consider diabetes, too? Diabetes also results from amyloid plaques forming, except in the pancreas. I suppose we should stop eating cow to prevent diabetes!

Pray tell, even in vCJD, how does the prion make it past the tryptic digest, into the bloodstream as whole protein, and then past the blood-brain barrier? That's quite a journey for a protein thats less than 1 ppt in cow meat! It's more likely that the person's own PrPc is in higher concentration as PrPsc due to to thermodynamic equilibrium!

Re:haha (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8006134)

You might be on to something there. We still don't have any solid evidence of what is causing the massive growth of diabetes in this country.

If much of the beef is indeed infected with BSE, it offers something interesting to look into. As you know many people getting diabetes are quite young which provides a further reason to track down your brilliant correlation.

Good thinking! It's a healthy sign to see someone who isn't dismissive when he or she doesn't know all the facts.

while we're at it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8006125)

I suppose eating beef also causes gelsolin amyloid aggregation and ATTR (transthyretin amyloid aggregation diseases). There are a hell of a lot of amyloid diseases out there.

Re:while we're at it... (1)

vnv (650942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8006145)

We just don't know what happens when people eat as much meat as Americans do. There indeed may be many "eat too much meat" diseases that would hardly show up in countries where they eat meat sparingly.

Maybe there is some very good reason the cow is sacred in India, eh?

Are these items possibly related? (2, Interesting)

GuardianBob420 (309353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7966653)

This discussion [slashdot.org] from earlier cited some new research that suggests that some nano-particles can migrate directly into the brian via the olfactories... can anybody think of a good source of nano-sized "zinc and copper compounds that concentrate in the brains of Alzheimer's sufferers" - industrial, natural, or otherwise?

Re:Are these items possibly related? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7968917)

Sure: pennies made after 1982. We handle those zinc depaced excuses for pennies all the time and it's not like copper and zinc are hard metals.

Re:Are these items possibly related? (1)

kps (43692) | more than 10 years ago | (#7977394)

Damn... and I thought it was funny to stick pennies up my nose.

MCD is already here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7968919)

MCD has been here for many years.
Read the link below.

Statistically speaking, the odds that a cluster of non-related, geographically close group of people spontaneously contracts CJD is nil.
But, hey, some people believe in the tooth fairy.
I believe in Mathematics.

Of course the CDC will never admit to this, as it would be the end of the beef industry in the US.

http://www.rense.com/general47/smde.htm

Some more links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7969171)


http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/010804_nw_cjcmy st ery.html

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns -a p-mad-cow-autopsies,0,2751867.story?coll=sns-ap-na tionworld-headlines

http://www.heraldsun.com/healthmed/34-432132.htm l

Some advice (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7969340)

There are clearly a number of Research savy people on /.,who should be saying things like..Small studies that purport some miraculous cure are a dime a dozen; real drugs that have a Theraputic index are rare. Example: About 20 years ago, a surgeon in mexico reports ASTONISHING, MIRACULOUS results tranplanting fetal tissue into the brains of parkinsons patients - people virtually frozen for years are playing tennis. As a result, scientists around the world devote scarce $$ and time on followup studies ...and the result ? It dont work that well. This alz study may be the one in a thousand that actually represents a real finding, but 1:1e3 aint good odds. As to all this stuff about Li (aka lithium) I have seen Abeta1-40 aggregate in vitro, and it sure happens easily. Just to keep the stuff in solution, you need something like heptaflourobutyric acid as solvent. translation: If metals promote plaque formation, it can happen with very low, trace concentrations, which implies that chelators (metal binding drugs) are not going to work, or at least chelation will not stop peptide from forming plaques; it might inhibit some protease, or some enzyme downstream of the plaque that is transducing the cell death signal As to all this stuff about big pharma somehow blocking research on cheap Alz drugs... there are a lot of scientists and doctors out there with Alz+ parents; thats what you call motivation.

Be nice if... (1)

SWTP_OS9 (658064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7970793)

Be nice if this work on Parkinson's disease also. Which one of the articles showed some improvement also.
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