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July 30, 2008

Medical Marvels? Docs Say AIDS, Alzheimer's Beaten

AIDS:

There is real hope that what’s happening in a Houston lab might lead to a cure for HIV.

“We have found an innovative way to kill the virus by finding this small region of HIV that is unchangeable,” Dr. Sudhir Paul of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston said.

Dr. Paul and Dr. Miguel Escobar aren’t talking about just suppressing HIV – they’re talking about destroying it permanently by arming the immune system with a new weapon lab tests have shown to be effective.

Ford Stuart has been HIV positive for 15 years. He’s on a powerful drug cocktail that keeps the disease in check.

“I’m on four different medications. Three of them are brand new, and it’s the first time that I’ve ever been non-detectible,” Stuart said.

... Dr. Paul thinks he’s cracked a code.

“We’ve discovered the weak spot of HIV,” he said.

Paul and his team have zeroed in on a section of a key protein in HIV’s structure that does not mutate.

“The virus needs at least one constant region, and that is the essence of calling it the Achilles heel,” Paul said.

That Achilles heel is the doctors’ way in.

Alzheimer's:

A new drug halts the devastating progress of Alzheimer’s disease, say British scientists.

It is said to be more than twice as effective as current treatments.

A daily capsule of rember, as the drug is known, stops Alzheimer’s disease progressing by as much as 81 per cent, according to trial results.

Patients with the brain disorder had no significant decline in their mental function over a 19-month period.

‘We appear to be bringing the worst affected parts of the brain functionally back to life,’ said Dr Claude Wischik, who led the research.

It is the first time medication has been developed to target the ‘tangles’ in the brain that destroy nerve cells, leading to deteriorating memory.

The drug helps to disrupt this process, preventing the formation of new tangles and loosening those already created.

Last night the findings were hailed as the biggest breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s since 1907.

And Barack Obama just coincidentally appeared on the scene a year ago?

Shyah, right.


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