“Landmark” research finds new clues about the genetic causes of Alzheimer’s

Posted under Blog on November 15th, 2012 by Editorial Team / No Comments


This week the New England Journal of Medicine has published research that is hoped will have major implications for understanding the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
The international group of scientists, led by UCL’s Institute of Neurology, studied data from 6,675 people with Alzheimer’s and compared them with 16,242 people without the disease. 
Without getting lost in the technical language of the research, essentially the researchers have identified a specific mutation in a gene that plays a role in the immune system. This mutation, known as R47H, was more likely to appear in those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the mutation is extremely rare, its identification provides valuable new information about what causes Alzheimer’s to develop in some people but not others. 
These days there is no shortage of research updates in the field of dementia, but what was more unusual about this latest announcement was the enthusiasm in the sound bites.
The study lead Dr Rita Guerreiro of UCL called the results “particularly exciting”. Another UCL Professor, John Hardy, called it “the biggest study of its kind in Alzheimer’s to date” and praised the collaboration of researchers across the globe. 
The Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Eric Karran, went further, calling it a “landmark” and praising “this pioneering study.”
New UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also got involved, but his line was more conservative, choosing to highlight Britain’s role as a world leader in dementia research. 
All very encouraging, and a welcome antidote to the disappointing drug trial results announced at the recent Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s conference in Monte Carlo.
However, the reality is that, as we blogged earlier this month, ending the worldwide epidemic of this debilitating and tragic disease remains one of the greatest health challenges of modern times. All progress is good progress of course, and hopefully the excitement felt by the scientists will spread to the patients, families and carers who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Tags: Alzheimer's, Clinical trials on Alzheimer's Disease conference, R47H, research, UCL

Pill that halts Alzheimer’s could be here in four years

Posted under Blog on November 6th, 2012 by Editorial Team / No Comments


A pill with the potential to halt the development of Alzheimer’s disease could be available within four years.  Currently being tested by British scientists, the progress of this new drug will be watched with interest by those involved in Alzheimer’s research.

Recently there have been concerns that whilst public interest in Alzheimer’s research has increased, Pharma companies appear to be stepping down their efforts. However, delegates at the recent Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference, heard that as well as reducing symptoms, this new drug could potentially prevent Alzheimer’s from developing at all. This has created speculation that, if successful, the drug could one day be prescribed to all adults aged 60-plus regardless of whether symptoms have presented themselves.

Despite being tipped by leading doctors as one to watch, it is important to remember that even the most promising drugs can fail in the final stages of testing. But with dementia affecting over 800,000 Britons and numbers expected to double in a generation, any developments in research are crucial to maintaining the momentum to develop a cure.

Currently, existing drugs delay the progress of Alzheimer’s but fail to tackle the underlying causes in the brain resulting in an effect that quickly wears off. The new drug, known as LMTX, works differently by dissolving the ‘tangles’ of protein that are a hallmark of the disease and spread through the brain like an infection.

Even if LMTX simply slows the progression of the disease, rather than completely halting it, the benefits could be huge, possibly allowing people stay at home with their loved ones for longer before the need for institutional care.

Rebecca Wood, of the Alzheimer’s Research UK charity, praised the efforts of the British scientists but urged others to continue to support research into Alzheimer’s.

Read more http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2225293/Pill-halts-Alzheimers-years.html#ixzz2At6gDleL

Tags: Alzheimer's, Clinical trials on Alzheimer's Disease conference, LMTX



Browse Categories
(Click to expand)

(Click to expand)


Alzheimer's symptoms Alzheimers cocoa eye test Google Glass Harvard pressure sensor Seattle Stanford vampire mice Vitamin E