Tortuga Rumba

A family photo blog featuring Ayana and Diego, the latest and greatest additions to our family. (Click on any picture to view a larger image.)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My info on Alzheimer`s Disease

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer`s disease (AD) (para Espanol) few years. I clip these neat stuff from the net and put it in my blog. I hope you can also find it beneficial. I welcome you to read this section.

From time to time I come across something about Alzheimer's. Couple nights ago as I contemplated going to sleep, I turned on the TV. Larry King Live and his guest Dr. Andrew Weil were on. Dr. Weil was promoting his new book about living longer and healthier. Among the many things he mentioned he said something on how to help prevent AD. he said, education and learn a second language, (not become fluent but to be knowledgeable) and to eat dark leaves greens veggies. So this morning I was checking my e-mail and I read this article on MSN.

Info on AD

Dark Leafy Greens
From MSN health

Chemicals called homocysteines are a normal part of protein metabolism, but high levels are linked with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease (as well as heart disease), which accounts for most cases of dementia in the U.S. According to Katherine Tucker, director of the dietary assessment research program at the Human Nutrition Research Center of Aging, “homocysteine has a toxic effect on arterial walls, and oxidation corrodes the arterial walls too, which makes them a bad combination.” In order to break themselves down, homocysteines require folate and B12 or B6, vitamins found in vegetables like collard greens and swiss chard.

New Research on AD
Tom DeBaggio's Alzheimer's Journey Continues
I listened to this report o nNPR one the best I have ever heard or read. Maybe because Mr. DeBaggio's and my Dad's AD are about the same level. It maybe think of my old man alot. We should remember that we should spend more time with our loves one while there is time. Check out this two part series.
Study Shows Promise for Alzheimer's Treatment

The most recent news on Alzheimers. This report was on NPR; National Public Radio a few days ago at a convention in Miami, Fl. Scientists are working on using antibodies to attack the protein thought to destroy brain cells. Click and listen. Alzheimer's Facts, Treatments

Spanish study says marijuana could help Alzheimer's patients
February 24, 2005(ABC7 Chicago TV)

Scientists in Spain say they have evidence that cannabis can help prevent memory loss in Alzheimer's patients. The Cajal Institute in Madrid found that THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, inhibits the activity of cells that cause brain damage.
Experiments using human brain tissue and rats showed that THC slowed down the activity of harmful cells that can cause memory loss.

Marijuana-like Ingredient Could Slow Alzheimer's
Cannabinoids could reduce inflammation associated with disease
By Janice Billingsley, HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) --

By suppressing inflammation in the brain, a synthetic marijuana compound could potentially offer some protection against Alzheimer's disease, Spanish scientists report. The researchers, who studied the brain tissue of deceased Alzheimer's patients, discovered that many of these patients lose the function of important cannabinoid brain receptors, which seem to guard against cognitive decline.
They further discovered in a rat study involving synthetic marijuana that when these brain receptors were working, they reduced the brain inflammation that is associated with Alzheimer's.
"This is the first time the effects of such damage have been found in Alzheimer's patients," said study co-author Maria de Ceballos, head of the neurodegeneration group at the Cajal Institute, Spain's largest neuroscience research center, in Madrid. "Previously, it has been known only in those with acute brain damage from trauma."
The findings appear in the Feb. 23 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
The researchers studied cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2, which are proteins that bind with cannabinoids, the active ingredients of marijuana. The synergy between these receptors and cannabinoids are known to provide protective effects against inflammation in the brain.
In the first part of their study, they compared the brain tissue of deceased Alzheimer's patients to similar tissue from healthy people who had died at the same age. Those who suffered from Alzheimer's had significantly reduced functioning of their cannabinoid receptors compared to the healthy group, which meant those with the disease had lost the capacity to experience the protective effects of cannabinoids.
Then, in a series of rat experiments, the scientists found cannabinoids reduced inflammation in the brain and prevented cognitive decline.
To find this, the researchers injected amyloid, a protein that activates immune cells and leads to cognitive decline, into the brains of one group of rats. Another group of rats received injections of a control protein. A third group of rats were injected with cannabinoids along with amyloid, and a last group received cannabinoids with the control protein.
After two months, the researchers trained the rats over five days to find a platform hidden underwater. Rats treated with the control protein -- with or without the cannabinoids -- and those treated with the amyloid protein and the cannabinoids were able to find the platform. The rats treated with the amyloid protein alone did not learn how to find the platform.
The scientists further confirmed that the amyloid protein activated the rats' brains' immune cells, causing inflammation, but that the cannabinoids counteracted this effect and reduced the inflammation.
de Ceballos said the findings suggest that those who are known to be at risk for Alzheimer's could benefit from using cannabinoids to slow the progression of the disease.
But she added that much work remains to be done before this can be put to clinical use.
Alzheimer's experts also warned this is very preliminary work because it only studied tissue in animals to find the beneficial effects of the cannabinoids, and, as such, is far from an endorsement of marijuana use in preventing Alzheimer's.
"The paper doesn't reflect any thought that people should use marijuana as any kind of therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's. It would be irresponsible to suggest that," said William Thies, vice president of medical and scientific affairs for the Alzheimer's Association.
By looking at a new possible agent that could be useful in moderating the pathology of Alzheimer's, he said, the study joins others examining the possible ways that the disease advances, including the effects of cholesterol, inflammation and the presence of amyloid proteins.
"Certainly every one of these papers that gives us new possibilities to explore is welcome," he said.

More information
Information about the amyloid protein that is a part of Alzheimer's disease can be found at The National Institute of Aging content by:

SOURCES: Maria de Ceballos, Ph.D., neurodegeneration group, Cajal Institute, Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Madrid, Spain; William Thies, Ph.D., vice president, medical and scientific affairs, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Feb. 23, 2005, Journal of Neuroscience

I was reading the news and notice this article from The Daily Yomiuri; a Japanese English language newspaper in Japan.
Research: Curry ingredient may stop Alzheimer's

Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, and the source of curry's yellow color, prevents the development of a substance that causes Alzheimer's disease, according to research conducted by a medical team at a graduate school at Kanazawa University.

The team, led by Prof. Masahito Yamada, a doctor specializing in neurology, and Kenjiro Ono, will discuss the findings at a conference to be held by the Japanese Society of Dementia Research, in Tokyo on Sept. 30.

In addition to paving the way for the development of a new drug to treat Alzheimer's disease, the findings could be used to improve eating habits to prevent dementia, the researchers said.
Alzheimer's disease is believed to be caused by the presence of a substance known as amyloid beta (AB) in the brain, which forms fibers that kill nearby nerve cells. Currently, there is no way to stop progress of the disease.

The team confirmed that after adding curcumin to a liquid containing AB, its fiber-forming ability decreased significantly. AB that had already become fibrous dissolved after curcumin was added, the researchers said. Polyphenols in red wine and the herb rosemary were found to have a similar effect. According to research, Indians who often eat curry contract Alzheimer's disease at a rate about 25 percent that of Americans. Rats that were fed food mixed with curcumin also were found to have a low incidence of the disease.

More on AD

There is a great video or DVD on AD from PBS, Public Broadcasting Service. I read several good reviews. Honestly, I am a little scared to watch it. One of this days I will have the courage. PBS has a great homepage dedicated only to this program. I have visited this page many times and I think it's very informative. Check it out.