Stop Alzheimer’s In Its Tracks

Molecules

For Some time now I have posted a lot about research being done to combat Alzheimer’s Disease and although it cannot help those who suffer, like yesterday, the promising results are still some if not many years away yet.

This post is on the same subject but this time with a difference. Scientists are working on creating tiny molecules that attack and destroy harmful proteins. These particular proteins kill nerve ending which leads to memory loss and confusion.

Professor David Allsop of Lancaster University hopes to have a drug ready to use on humans within the next 5 to 6 years. Although still some time away before it begins it testing on humans, it is definitely much sooner than other research I have posted on Alzheimer’s.

Hopefully his research will bring a much brighter light to the end of the tunnel, for those individuals who suffer this terrible disease, and their families who at the moment can only watch on as their loved one slowly lose their ability to think and much, much more. More than you would ever want to wish on your worst enemy (I would hope).

Read more about Professor Allsop’s and his teams research hopes.


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Alzheimers Only A switch Away

Brain Broken

It looks very much like Alzheimer’s Disease will in the not too distant future become just a bad memory. I have had first-hand experience of individuals suffering this debilitating illness and believe me it is something you would not wish on your worst enemy. It is heartbreaking to work alongside individuals caring for some loved one suffering this progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behavior and emotion.

My heart goes out to those families (anyone) who cares and supports a member of their family with this illness and have no other choice but watch on as they loved one becomes confused forgetting the names of people, places, appointments, and recent events becoming so confused they even forget who the person caring for them is, until eventually, they will need help with all their daily activities, and I mean all.

Can you imagine what it must feel like to go from being a husband, wife, etcetera the brain damage gradually eating away their loved one’s memories of the life they shared till in the end, you become a nothing to this person you are caring for. Nothing but an interfering busybody (was one term I heard used). I can’t, and pray God I never have a need to find out.

Anyway the reason for this posting is of something I read not so long ago. It appears researchers from the University of Southern California tested their new invention on rats drugged to forget and found when it was switched on the drugged rats immediately remembered the correct lever to press to get water. When it was switched off they were unable to remember the correct switch to press. More of this story.

Sussane Sorensen head of research for the Alzheimer’s Society is reported as saying: “Finding ways to combat symptoms caused by changes in the brain is an on-going battle for researchers. An implant like this one developed for the study could provide an exciting new prospect with real potential.”

The University now plan to develop a device to use on monkeys with a long-term aim, of using it on Humans.

It is also reported that as well as the benefit it will be to Alzheimer sufferers it will also help stroke victims and people with brain injuries.

An overview accompanied with a video of Alzheimer’s disease can be found on the NHS Choices homepage, ‘Your health, your choices’


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Milk and Alzheimer’s

Want to stave off dementia? Drink just two glasses of milk daily! For a new study has suggested that milk can help protect against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease in old age.

milk

An international team led by Oxford University, has found that milk is actually one of the best sources of the key vitamin B12. B12 is said to reduce the neurological damage to the brain which can lead to forms of dementia. Moreover, the study has revealed that elderly patients with low levels of vitamin B12 suffer twice as much shrinkage of the brain as those with higher levels of B12 in their bodies.

What do milk, liver, seafood, and meat have in common? The answer is vitamin B12, with meat being the biggest provider. However, vitamin B12 is tightly bound to proteins in the meat. This means that the body relies on acid in our stomachs to break down the protein before the body can make use of B12. Milk on the other hand while having a lower content of B12 is more readily absorbed by the body.

What is the point of this post? Well, it appears that scientists from Oxford University believe that vitamin B12 can reduce the brain damage that leads to dementia. They found during their studies that elderly individuals with a low count of the key vitamin, B12, suffered twice the amount of brain shrinkage as those people, with higher levels of the vitamin. The scientists found in their study, around 55 percent of the vitamin in milk entered the bloodstream; fish provided the second highest source of the vitamin, followed by other dairy products.

The findings of the team lead by Professor David Smith, whose findings appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is reported as saying:

“There are 550 people who come down with dementia every day in the UK… it is a major epidemic. It is unlikely we are ever going to find ways of repairing that damage. We have to look at preventing it in the first place.[sic] Our study shows that consuming around half a litre of milk or more per day, and it can be skimmed milk, could take someone who has marginal levels of B12 into the safe range. But drinking just two glasses a day can protect against having low levels”.– The Daily Telegraph

So the moral of this story, according to scientists, is that drinking two glasses of milk a day could help protect you against Alzheimer’s disease.

Image 1: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net