Posts Tagged ‘Amyloid’


By Kevin Woo

Dr. Michael Devous believes that one day there will be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

“I think we’re going to cure Alzheimer’s disease, and we’re not far away from it,” says Devous during an interview with the Dallas Morning News. Devous is a professor and director at the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“Ten years ago I didn’t think so, but we’ve made tremendous progress,” he says. “We haven’t done it. We haven’t cured anyone from this disease yet, but I’m hopeful that the trials we’ve started will change the course of this disease in a positive way. There’s a mild cognitive impairment which precedes dementia. We are having clinical trials to see if removing plaque will keep (patients) from getting worse and maybe even allow them to get better.”

Researchers say that maintaining a healthy lifestyle; getting genetically tested if you’re at high risk for the disease; and removal of amyloid plaque all hold the key to finding a cure.

The study of plaque is key to Devous’ on-going research.

What also makes the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center unique is that it pools research efforts from other Texas institutions such as the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium, UTSW in Dallas, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and it takes part in collaborative work with UTD Center for BrainHealth and Center for Vital Longevity and the Cooper Clinic in Dallas.

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By Kevin Woo, Special to Alzheimer’s Speaks | December 12, 2012

Last year a drug known as AC253, which was intended to help diabetics, was pulled from clinical trials and never made it to market. But medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that the same drug, AC253, could block the toxic effects of amyloid protein that lead to brain cell death.

Drs. Jack Jhamandas and Ryoichi Kimura tested the memory of animals with normal brain cells against those with Alzheimer’s.  When the animals with Alzheimer’s were given AC253 and the memory tests were repeated, the memory of those with Alzheimer’s was restored to levels close to those with normal brain cells.

Dr. Jhamandas told Science Daily, “This is very important because it tells us that drugs like this might be able to restore memory, even after Alzheimer’s disease may have set in.”

Amyloid protein is found in exceedingly high amounts in the  memory and cognition parts of the brains of patient’s with Alzheimer’s and diminishes memory.

For AC253 to effective, however, pharmaceutical companies will need to find a way for the drug to penetrate brain cells more easily.

“I think what we discovered may be part of the solution but i can’t say it will be the solution,” added Jhamandas in his interview with Science Daily. “There is a long list of drugs and approaches that haven’t panned out as expected in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  I don’t think one drug or approach will solve Alzheimer’s disease because it’s a complicated disease but I am cautiously optimistic about our discovery and its implications.”

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By Kevin Woo, Special to Alzheimer’s Speaks | December 5, 2012


The United Kingdom’s Telegraph newspaper reported this morning that in early 2013 a small number of Alzheimer’s patients with mild-to-moderate stage symptoms could get access to a drug currently known as MK-8931.

The drug is in clinical trial but if proven effective millions of people world-wide could benefit. The study will involve 1,700 Alzheimer’s patients world-wide.  Half will be given MK-8931 and the other half a placebo.

In early testing the drug has proven to be effective at halting amyloid cascade, the buildup of structures between cells, which causes Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr. Richard Perry, a consultant neurologist and lecturer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, told the Telegraph in an interview, “The idea of this drug is to stop the production of abnormal levels of beta amyloid in the brain. It’s about getting in early, so that if less amyloid is produced, less plaques will come together. From what I have seen of the phase one trial results, this drug looks encouraging in terms of reducing the level of abnormal beta-amyloid in spinal fluid.”

Researchers say the results won’t be final until 2016.

The Telegraph story can be read in its entirety here:  http://bit.ly/TESaKk

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