Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A UCLA study shows there could be a TREATMENT for Alzheimer's disease

What happened when Alzheimer’s patients were treated for the diseases we already have cures or treatments for  ?

Last summer, a research group from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) quietly published the results of a new approach in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. What they found was striking. Although the size of the study was small, every participant demonstrated such marked improvement that almost all were found to be in the normal range on testing for memory and cognition by the study’s end. Functionally, this amounts to a cure.
These are important findings, not only because Alzheimer’s disease is projected to become ever more common as the population ages, but because current treatment options offer minimal improvement at best. 
Many proposed drug solutions have failed in clinical trials. Last July, a large clinical trial found little benefit in patients receiving a major new drug called LMTX. And after that, another hopeful drug designed to target amyloid protein, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, failed its first large clinical trial as well. Just two months ago, Merck announced the results of its trial of a drug called verubecestat, which is designed to inhibit formation of amyloid protein. It was found to be no better than placebo.

The situation is analogous in kind, if not quite degree, to the many other chronic diseases with which we now struggle, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While we do have efficacious medications for these conditions, none work perfectly, and all have negative effects. Our understanding of the cellular processes at the root of these diseases is sophisticated, but technical mastery—the grail of a cure—has remained elusive.

The method isn’t entirely novel. Researchers have already shown that multi-faceted, comprehensive lifestyle interventions can significantly improve outcomes in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. But it’s difficult for these approaches to gain traction for two reasons. First, these protocols are more challenging than simply taking a pill at bedtime. Patients need ongoing education, counseling and support to effect meaningful change. And second, the pharmaceutical mode of treatment is deeply embedded within our current medical system. Insurance companies are set up to pay for medication, not lifestyle change; and physicians are taught pharmacology, not nutrition.

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple over the next three decades, to nearly 14 million in the US alone. Diabetes and other chronic diseases are expected to follow a similar trajectory. Trying to confront this epidemic with medication alone will raise a new host of problems, from prohibitive cost to adverse effects, without addressing any underlying cause. We know that comprehensive lifestyle modification can work for many chronic diseases, in some cases as well as medication. It deserves more than passing mention at the end of an annual check-up—it’s time to make it a cornerstone in the treatment not only of Alzheimer’s disease, but of all chronic disease.Aeon counter – do not remove

So, exercise more, and eat your veggies

A UCLA study shows there could be a cure for Alzheimer's disease — Quartz
Post a Comment