Monday, October 13, 2008

A Possible Cure For Alzheimer's?

Don't know if this is another one of those hyped things that won't amount to anything, or if there's really some potential here. Certainly more study is needed. I can't help but wonder if our Food and Drug Administration (assuming the U.S. decides to study this) will slow research on this down to a crawl as it did back when AIDs made its debut?

Alzheimer's is a horrific disease. Let's hope if there is something worth using here the FDA doesn't throw too many barricades in the way. After all, these people are dying and, even if they're still alive, their quality of life and those around them suffers greatly.

Hat tip to Radley Balko, over at The Agitator, for the heads up on this.


At 11:04 AM, Blogger Rose said...

That's pretty incredible. I have always wondered if, inside their skull, they were still coherent and had all the memories, but just lost the ability to get it out - and what an awful feeling that would be - or if the memories were really lost because some connector broke... this would suggest the former.

Fascinating. Hope it is for real!

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Wow! I have not blog about this, but my Dad has been put on Aricept recently and has been undergoing testing for Alzheimer's. They are monitoring him and are starting him on an anti-depressent and suggested counseling/therapy (which I pray he will do!). My mom is in a support group for caregivers for Alzheimer's and the stories are so sad. I sent the article to Mom and hope she will share it with others. Let's hope this is a big breakthrough! Thank you, blog friend, Fred!

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Narration said...

That _is_ great, Fred. Thanks for putting the item up.

Rose, I would suggest that the case is not either of the two, but in a sense better.

I don't believe the person is 'really there', but locked inside in that sense. There is a condition like that, but it's not Alzheimers, and those who have it I believe are completely incommunicado - they are not nor do they present as being confused.

What this effect of the drug sounds like is that it re-enables the nerve and memory pathways, which are in some sense the same thing. The braincells still hold the memories in the interesting ways they do, but the person hasn't been able to use it while in the Alzheimer condition. What the drug does is turn back on the myriad connections (not one 'communication' connection)so that the mind works again as it is supposed to.

So you see, I think the treasures of a persons memory are there, but that they aren't made to suffer in knowing it. Just they can apparently wake up, and that is wonderful news to any extent it is true.

I remember a little of some tales of Oliver Sacks, the famous medical scientist who writes about all the unusual conditions of the mind. There was another kind of 'faded out' kind of condition, and a person could be brought out of it. Unfortunately the recovery was only temporary. I think this is the basis for the 60's story Flowers for Algernon/Charly and maybe one other that I may have it confused with, but don't remember (!) at the moment the title for the film.

Regards to you, and some day I will explain why I don't say my name. Too recognisable, is all.

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know if this will ever get to U.S. Food & Drug wants to test everything for 10 years and we still get drugs that cause other problems.

Neurologist follows Alzheimer's and the test is usually a spect scan. Other quick yest used is ask person to draw the face of a clock as it will not have the "hands" that give time just the numbers if Alaheimer's. There are also copying skills to draw certain simple patterns that they are looking at.

My mom had Alzheimer's amd Excelon was the drug that worked best. Maybe it just depends on every person what works best.

Many things mimic the disease including vitamin B deficiency as well as little strokes that are not noticeable.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could be that Alzheimer's is caused by many years of drinking tflouridated water. Like smoking or agent organge, it takes years for the effects to happen.


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