SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 8, 2016

Drug trial for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s trial, latest hope

This article was referenced in my 9-5-16 post “Alzheimer’s and Amalgam,”  but since this happens to be one of the greatest threats facing people  hands down, was feeling compelled to post this also as information for those who genuinely seek to better understand and form own decision making.  This is a frightening subject.  Far too many of us have witnessed precious loved ones face going thru loss of identity, functional ability and be unable to interact with those who meant everything to them. . .including themselves.  

In Mother’s case,  I had her living with me the last 18 years of her life (barring the final year wherein I could no longer get her up from the floor when she fell.  Her doctor insisted).  For many of those years there were difficult times with weird arguments when I thought she was simply losing her mind.  We remembered the same incidents entirely  differently.  This was so hard as she was no dummy, in fact. . . a certified genius and one of the most creative people I’ve ever known.  She was an athlete as a youth and was  bold and fearless.   One time in the hospital as I picked up her chart and began reading it, I saw she was an Alzheimer’s patient!  Why had no one bothered to tell me?  It explained her memory problems.  Thereafter,  I became a nuisance demanding full explanations of everything which related to mother’s care. . even in the home, later.

Two things I wanted to mention regarding possibilities of why she lasted as long as she did.  1) Living with me, she was fed very well  and  2) the social element was an ongoing thing.  I always celebrated her birthdays with parties and people and few presents.  Actually, we had always believed in celebrating everything where ever possible. . . anything could be a cause.   Most of my friends also were fond of her and enjoyed coming to a birthday party.  Mother was humorous and delighted.  I took her out to places she wanted to go. . . the flower shop for designing her bouquets, etc.,. A dinner here and there.   She enjoyed pets and plants in my home which rounded out her balanced life such as it was.  Most of all, she knew she was loved.  Her last six hours were with me as she transitioned.  She and I were both at peace. It was peaceful,   and I didn’t fall apart as everyone who knew me thought I would (because of  our closeness).  One cannot loose the loving mother without  missing her, and so it was  with me. We were blessed, and I am grateful.  

I mention this private experience, because it is important.  We are a social species.  Family is everything. . .or it used to be anyway.  Now days, families drift apart for so many reasons, including economics. . . . people must ‘go’ where the money or jobs are.  So it is no surprise that families are often split up leaving the senior generation alone and lonely (and often,  unloved).

 

Alzheimer drug trial offering glimmer of hope

By Tara Bahrampour   –  The Washington Post  

An initial trial of an antibody therapy that targets Alzheimer’s disease has shown promising results and could signal a long-awaited breakthrough in treating the devastating brain disorder that affects over 5 million Americans.

The antibody, known as aducanumab, targets a protein called amyloid beta that builds up in the brain and creates plaques associated with the disease. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, a trial to evaluate the drug’s safety and tolerability showed positive results. Of 165 patients, those who received monthly infusions of the drug for a year showed a significant reduction in amyloid beta and slower cognitive decline than those receiving a placebo.

  • The therapy is now being tested for efficacy in larger trials. If those are successful, aducanumab could be the first new Alzheimer’s drug to be approved in over a decade and the first ever to reverse signs of the disease.

“Overall this is the best news that we’ve had in my 25 years doing Alzheimer’s clinical research and it brings new hope for patients and families most affected by the disease,” said one of the study’s authors, Stephen Salloway, director of neurology in the Memory and Aging program and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Brown University.

Researchers divided recipients into four groups, receiving either a placebo, a low dose of aducanumab, a medium dose or a high dose.

“The higher the dose the larger the degree of reduction and the longer the treatment, the larger the degree of reduction,” said another study author, Roger Nitsch, director at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich.

In PET brain scans taken of people receiving the highest dose, “after one year you can see no red on the image, meaning the amyloid has almost completely disappeared,” Nitsch said. Compared to past studies, he added, “the effect size of this drug is unprecedented.”

  • Higher doses did result in some adverse reactions among carriers of the APOE4 gene associated with Alzheimer’s, including slight brain swelling and bleeding seen in MRI brain scans. But for most recipients this side effect was manageable by careful monitoring and adjusting of the drug, the authors said.

An estimated 5.2 million Americans 65 and over have Alzheimer’s, and experts predict that number will nearly triple by 2050 in the absence of new treatments. Five FDA approved drugs can alleviate some symptoms, but in the past 12 years no new drugs have been approved for the disease, which at $236 billion a year is the most expensive disease in the U.S.

In recent years, several promising therapies have failed to show positive results in later trials. But the technology that can identify amyloid plaques in the brains of living patients – which was used in the new study – has been a game-changer for researchers.

“Before, people (in trials) were screened by cognitive tests and they may or may not have had amyloid,” potentially skewing study results, said James Hendrix, director of global science initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association.

  • “This trial has reinvigorated the field and clearly created a lot more excitement about amyloid as a target,” he said of the aducanumab study. “There’s been a lot of debate over the last 20 years over the role of amyloid (and) how important it is in the disease.” Successful Phase 3 trials of the drug would add strong support for the hypothesis that preventing or clearing amyloid buildup can help patients, he said.

And while experts believe the key to stopping Alzheimer’s will ultimately require a combination of approaches, “right now we need one good one, a new one.

“If aducanumab and others in the pipeline have the promise of maybe preventing and slowing down the progression, it could let (people) live out their golden years the way they want to.”

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This is encouraging, and I sincerely hope good comes from this trial.   Nevertheless,  chemical pharmaceuticals are not recognized by the body and will not be welcomed as an earth product – fully recognized and/or able to be utilized;  this why there are so many side effects resulting.  

What I am doing with regard to Alzheimer’s is apparently working extremely well for me.  The  ingredients are pure (distilled) water,  Vitamin C, Glutathione and Sunflower (non-GMO) Lecithin.  The only “tool” I needed to acquire was a jewelry cleaner (but a good one; mine cost $70.00).  No cooking or big mess.  Not hard to do.  One who has become insecure and confused won’t be able to do for him/her self;  it would require another to make and supervise (as in the case with my sister).  There are companies who are marketing LIPOSOMAL ENCAPSULATED therapies.  They are more costly;  unused by me, therefore, unable to attest to their veracity. . . but they are out there.

My hope is that some interest from readers will result in my putting up a post in which I outline exactly what and how I make LIPO stuff with a few guidelines I’ve discovered.  Barring that,  (no interest), guess there is no need    Jan.   

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