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December 02, 2018

Hope For Alzheimers On The Horizon? Maybe!

This is a long way from reality, but the harsh truth is that there is nothing currently available that helps much. There are pharmaceuticals that supposedly slow the decline and assist memory, but their effects are mild and transitory. So anything in the drug pipeline is welcome.

New Vaccine Could Cut Number Of Alzheimer's Cases In Half

Unlike a previous attempt that caused swelling in the brain when DNA was injected into the test mice's muscles, the new vaccine was administered by injecting it superficially into the skin.

Alzheimer's, which is expected to strike triple the number of people by 2050, cripples the brain as human beings age, as beta-amyloid proteins in the brain get stuck together and tau proteins start to tangle, both of which inhibit neural connections. The new vaccine, injected into the skin, triggers the skin cells to produce a three-molecule chain of beta-amyloid. The immune system is then catalyzed to produce antibodies to fight beta-amyloid; the antibodies also fight tau proteins. This means the body anticipates the Alzheimer's plaques and tangles before they happen.

When I read about novel approaches to intractable diseases I am always amazed at the capacity in humans for original thought. That most people do not understand how incredibly complex the pipeline from glimmer-of-an-idea to successful use in humans is frustrating. There are thousands of researchers who spend their lives working on drugs and technology and techniques to treat and sometimes cure diseases and other afflictions of Man. Most of them will fail, but the attempt is honorable...and expensive. That's one reason why drugs are sometimes outrageously expensive, and why the assumption that drug companies should charge only their current cost to produce plus some small margin is an obscene contravention of the laws of economics.


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posted by CBD at 12:45 PM

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