A new technology, recently approved by the FDA, allows researchers to detect amyloid plaques that often suggest Alzheimer's disease. Created by Eli Lilly, Amyvid is a drug that, when used before a PET scan, will highlight amyloid plaque in the brain. This method is much more preferable for diagnosis than the current method of performing an autopsy.
A new study shows that reducing the iron levels in blood plasma may help protect the brain from changes. There is previous evidence that there are changes in the way the human body handles iron and other metals (zinc, cooper) before it shows Alzheimer's symptoms. In the study, rats are fed a high cholesterol diet which causes them to build up plaques of a protein called beta-amyloid and develop changes in the tau proteins. The study deals with a new drug called deferiprone which lowered the iron concentration in the blood plasma of the rabbit and the level of beta-amyloid and the tau proteins in the brain.
At the University of South Florida (USF) researchers have discovered that the amyloid precursor protein (APP) which is associated with Alzheimer's Disease regulates its own growth. This discovery has the potential to allow scientists to treat and possible prevent the disease by controlling the regulation of the protein. Through their research at USF, it has been determined that the growth of APP is dependent on an enzyme (BACE1) excreted by the amyloid leading to the theory that, if the reaction between the BACE1 and APP was blocked, Alzheimer's disease may see its end.
Researchers have shown that elevated pulse pressures in older humans with Alzheimer's disease are at a higher risk to get Cerebrovascular disease. Recent studies have shown that patients with Alzheimer's disease that have a high pulse pressure may impair the clearance of beta-amyloid from the brain. Other studies show that high pulse pressures increases the chance of Cerebrovascular disease which contributes to the cause of Alzheimer's disease.
A groundbreaking new test for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease is being developed at a research facility just north of Sydney, Australia. Currently, the only prevalent tests of such nature are invasive and expensive. However, the test being developed in Syndey is a cheap blood test that checks for a change in levels of a specific protein marker over a year in order to determine if a patient is in deed affected by the lethal disease. The earlier Alzheimer's is detected, the more likely it can be slowed and even stopped.
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