Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s

The Fight Against Alzheimer’s to Get Much Harder

By 2060, expect the number of cases of Alzheimer’s to have tripled unless some unlikely events happen, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here's some signs to see if someone you know might have Alzheimer's. By the way, do you notice a misspelled word. Photo from share.upmc.com
Here’s some signs to see if someone you know might have Alzheimer’s. By the way, do you notice a misspelled word. Photo from share.upmc.com

As of 2018, over 5 million people are currently battling the common form of dementia  in the United States alone. That means that out of 100 people you know, one of them will most likely have contracted Alzheimer’s in their lifetime. With those chances it is still difficult to determine who is going to develop the disease, and as life expectancy increases, so too do cases of Alzheimer’s.

In a statement to NBC news, the CDC said that “CDC researchers predict that Hispanic Americans will have the largest projected increase due to population growth over the projection period.”

The CDC also stated that the people aged 65 years or older in the United States are expected to have doubled by the year of 2060. Their report was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The population with the highest current percentage of Alzheimer’s are African Americans, with 13.8 percent of people older than 65 affected by the disease. Hispanic Americans are a close second with 12 percent, and whites have over 10 percent affected.

As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, which has become the fifth most common cause of death for Americans over the age of 65. Indeed, the neurologically-degenerating disease does not even have treatment methods to slow its progress. However, the slow and long process to even begin treatment is going on in labs across the nation.

Time will only tell if there’s any progress on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Experimental Alzheimer’s drug shows anti-aging effects

Salk Institute researchers have discovered that a trial drug candidate aimed towards battling Alzheimer’s contains a large amount of surprising anti-aging effects in animals.

The Salk team advanced their previous development of a drug candidate, referred to as J147, that takes a alternative tactic — focusing on Alzheimer’s major risk factor, old age. Once these mice were treated with J147, they had improved memory and cognizance, healthier blood vessels within the brain and various enhanced physiological components, as explained in the journal Aging, on November 12, 2015.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder, recently rated as the third leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s impacts over five million Americans. It is also the most widely recognized cause of dementia in adults who are older, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The group of researchers decided to zero in on the key risk for the disease — old age. Using cell-based screens against old age-associated cerebrum toxicities, they synthesized J147.

The team used a thorough set of assessments to measure the expression of all genes within the brain, as well as over five hundred small molecules involved with metabolism within in the brains and blood of three groups of the rapidly aging mice. The three groups of rapidly aging mice included one set that was young, one set that was old and one set that was old but fed J147 as they aged.

Mice treated with J147 (right) showed improved physiology, memory and appearance that more closely resembled younger mice. Photo from the Salk Institute.
Mice treated with J147 (right) showed improved physiology, memory and appearance that more closely resembled younger mice.
Photo from the Salk Institute.

The old mice that received J147 performed better on memory and other tests for comprehension and furthermore showed more powerful motor movements. The mice treated with J147 additionally had less indications of Alzheimer’s in their brains. Essentially, as a result of the substantial data collected on the three groups of mice, it was possible to show that numerous parts of gene expression and metabolism within the old mice fed J147 were fundamentally the same of those of the young animals. These included markers for expanded energy metabolism, diminished brain inflammation and decreased levels of oxidized unsaturated fats within the brain.

While these studies represent a new and stimulating approach to Alzheimer’s drug discovery and animal testing within the context of aging, the sole way to show the clinical pertinence of the work is to move J147 into human clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, which the researchers aim to start next year.