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New breakthrough developments have surfaced for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. According to Herald Tribune Health, Daniel Paris, a scientist with the Roskamp Institute stated researchers with Roskamp may have found an enzyme which controls symptoms related to Alzheimer’s Disease. If these researchers can further develop a drug which turns this enzyme off, they believe certain symptoms related to Alzheimer’s Disease may shut down too.
Barbara Peters Smith of Herald Tribune stated the number of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease can skyrocket as the baby boom generation ages over the next 35 years. Developments to aid in the treatment of this neurodegenerative disorder had appeared to come to a halt until recent developments began again.
Recently, three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize for a discovery regarding brain function. These scientists included John O’Keefe and Mr. and Mrs. Edvard Moser, who both reportedly followed up on research performed by O’Keefe from 1971, according to Crystal Boulware of Guardian Liberty Voice. The follow-up research led to what the Mosers referred to as the “inner GPS” or how cells in the brain work with memory to help people navigate.
Other research had also continued from the Roskamp Institute with regards to a drug which was originally used to treat blood pressure. Approximately 10 years ago, Roskamp scientists believed this drug could also aid in treating those with Alzheimer’s by reducing a plaque referred to as beta amyloid.
According to Smith, when newer information was found regarding symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, excitement over the drug had subsided as researchers worked to combat all symptoms of the disease.
Recently, Roskamp researchers found this drug, which is referred to as nilvadipine and is reportedly a calcium-channel blocker, was discovered to have also worked on reducing inflammation, another symptom associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Smith stated because of this breakthrough, researchers had also wanted to test it on tangles which appear in tau proteins within the brain. They found these tangles had also been reduced.
Smith reported more than a year of studying the drug on a cellular level had gone by before researchers found other new breakthrough developments regarding symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. A single enzyme that appears to be responsible for beta amyloid development, tau tangles, and inflammation appeared to be triggered by what Paris referred to as “syk,” or spleen tyrosine kinase.
Smith stated researchers had given this single enzyme the name “syk” after discovering it close to the spleen area. It may also reportedly be connected to other disorders, such as arthritis and lupus. Tests are still being conducted to find drugs more suitable in targeting syk besides nilvadipine, but researchers reportedly appear hopeful in possibly shutting down this enzyme, which may also reportedly shut down symptoms associated with the disease as well. Also, clinical trials still need to be conducted with regards to human data versus animals, Smith reported neurologist R. Scott Turner of Georgetown University as saying.
BBC News also reported that researchers at Dundee University in the U.K. will conduct a new study on eyes to determine if changes to veins and arteries inside the eye are “early warning” signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers already believe these types of changes that occur in the eye can indicate a high probability of cardiovascular disease and even stroke.
New breakthrough developments concerning Alzheimer’s Disease also link anti-anxiety medicine to an increase in the likelihood of obtaining Alzheimer’s. According to a column on The Clarion-Ledger featuring Dr. Mike Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz, a recent study found that benzodiazepine can increase the risk of an older person developing Alzheimer’s by about 32 percent if medication was taken for 90 days or more. If an older person takes anti-anxiety medicine for more than 180 days, even throughout a course of five years, his or her chance of developing the disease went up around 84 percent.
By Liz Pimentel