Skip to comments."Groundbreaking" Alzheimer's trial removes toxic brain plaques
Posted on 07/20/2008 10:37:39 PM PDT by neverdem
British researchers have shown that drug vaccination can remove amyloid plaques from the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, but unexpectedly found this did not slow down the disease.
The five-year study, funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust and published in the Lancet, examined 80 patients with mild to moderate dementia who had been immunised with AN1792, a drug which acts to clear amyloid plaques from the brain.
The brains of all people with Alzheimer's disease accumulate amyloid, a protein which clumps together to form toxic plaques. This assumed role of amyloid in the development of Alzheimer's and attempts at its removal have become focal points for dementia research strategies.
The ART study showed immunisation caused a long-term reduction in amyloid in the brain and a variable degree of plaque removal compared with non-immunised control patients.
Contrary to predictions, removal of amyloid plaques did not result in an improvement in cognitive function or survival. Several patients with complete plaque removal deteriorated severely.
The previous consensus among dementia scientists - that removing amyloid plaques is key to defeating Alzheimer's - may now need to be rethought.
Lead researcher Prof Clive Holmes of the University of Southampton said: "Our results suggest that brain deterioration can occur in Alzheimer's despite the removal of plaques. It may be that these toxic plaques trigger the neurodegeneration but don't have an ongoing role. This study opens up numerous avenues for further research."
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "This is groundbreaking research, and a leap forward in our understanding of Alzheimer's disease. It is disappointing that anti-amyloid treatments did not prevent the disease's progress, but we still need to do more research into whether earlier removal of this initial 'motor' of the disease could slow its progression. These findings underline the need to take a variety of research approaches in a multi-pronged attack on this devastating disease.
"The Alzheimer's Research Trust is funding further research into the toxic nature of amyloids at several UK universities."
Notes for editors
The Alzheimer's Research Trust provides free information on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: phone 01223 843899 or visit www.alzheimers-research.org.uk.
The paper 'Long-term effects of Aß42 immunisation in Alzheimer's disease: follow-up of a randomised, placebo-controlled phase I trial' by Clive Holmes, Delphine Boche, David Wilkinson, Ghasem Yadegarfar, Vivienne Hopkins, Anthony Bayer, Roy W Jones, Roger Bullock, Seth Love, James W Neal, Elina Zotova, and James A R Nicoll is published in the Lancet, vol. 372, pp216-223, 19th July 2008.
I hope that they find this out really soon!
I suspect the amyloid plaques are displacing healthy tissue AND replacing its function in maintaining structural integrity. Removing the plaque destroys the replacement function it was performing to maintain structural integrity. It seems the vaccination is really a death sentence as the last of the amyloid plaque goes away.
Blueberry juice restores some cognitive function even in the continued presence of plaques. Low carb diets also tend to slow the progression.
Interesting Home Page!
A setback is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.Henry Ford
I think scientists are beginning to conclude that it is not the amyloid plaques that are causing the dementia but may be a symptom of the deterioration in cognitive function. There are also many cases of autopsied elderly deceased with no diminution of cognitive faculties but plenty of amyloid plaque present in their brain.
“I hope that they find this out really soon!”
In the meantime, your best bet is to enjoy your morning coffee and chase it with a shot of fish oil—preferably molecularly distilled to avoid mercury.
All kinds of benefits to both coffee and fish oil. I’m not sure if you could actually get a doc to prescribe you the BP meds, though.
Do an internet search. There’s a lot of information out there about this.
There seems to be a correlation between heavy beer drinking and alzheimers, whereas heavy wine drinking is not correlated. My late husband who died from Alzheimers in 2005 was a heavy beer drinker for about 25 years before stopping in 1990.
“Low carb diets also tend to slow the progression.”
Do you know of a study I can look at? Thanks!
Reminds me in a way of newer research in MS. They are finding that there is unseen (unseen on MRI) damage in gray matter and white matter. Maybe the reason that lesion load does not correlate with disability.
Another “almost” miracle cure?
I’ll just keep licking frogs till I find the good chemicals.
From this article it almost appears as the the “plaques” are protective.
Great Henry Ford quote. I agree with your insights about plaque. The other issue that gets overshadowed is that a large percentage of patients with cognitive dysfunction have vascular dementia. If you want to maintain your brain, make sure you treat hypertension and do what you can to maintain overall cardiovascular health.
IIRC, I saw that somewhere too.
Low carb diets also tend to slow the progression.
That fits with some articles that I read recently.
Autism Cures? (Thomas Sowell) Alia has some interesting insights and observations about "late talkers" in comment# 65. Other comments from Alia pepper the thread about her miserable experiences with the nanny state in CA because her son had a language delay.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Thank you, neverdem. Not to SPAM this thread with what I’ve posted on the thread you reference; but yes, I do have first-hand experience with late talkers (delayed language) and with the excesses of the Nanny State, so I hope others will feel inclined to read what I’ve posted on that thread; and I’m glad to discuss it here on this thread.
Good advice on vascular dementia and hypertension.
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