Sunday, April 11, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis and Treatment: Promising Research

There have been many drugs being touted to reduce or slow the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Few of those tested or on the market are able to consistently live up to their claims.

However, the latest research from the Mayo Clinic, UCLA and the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute at West Virginia University has great promise.

The Mayo Clinic has developed a method of analying MRI's to "read" brain changes with up to 80% accuracy; UCLA have developed a blood test for AD; Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) now has a skin test available to detect defective enzymes involved with memory function. These enzymes are found in brain and skin cells.

The accuracy of this new skin test is 98%, according to the Daniel Aikon, MD, the institute's scientific director. Early intervention treatment involves low doses of the chemotherapy drug Bryostatin to reactivate the defective enzymes to "...rewire broken connections in the brain and restore memory," says Aikon. He further states that this process could be used to reverse the negative consequences of many brain diseases. Clinical trials begin in 2010.

I'm excited about this level of AD research and potential for impact on the lives of patients, families and the community.

Pam Cushenan, RDH, MS
SOFT Smiles: Specialized Oral Focused Training

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