Still Alice – The experts

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Alice again

Dr. Ross Walker

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


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If you could foresee that in 20 years you would have had a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, would you really want to know? Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis published an article in the journal "Neurology" in which they believe they were able to do just that, with an accuracy of about 94%.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and the evidence clearly shows that it is due to a combination of increased slowness in the brain's microcirculation and reduced clearance of accumulated toxic proteins. Whenever you have a thought or emotion, a chemical reaction occurs within the brain and a waste product is created from the reaction. It's a bit like eating and having to remove the leftovers from the dish by washing the dish or using the dishwasher. These toxic proteins accumulate over time due to the defective clearance of the two mechanisms mentioned above. These toxic proteins are known as amyloid proteins and by measuring certain ratios in the blood stream and combining them with a person's age and another well-known protein associated with Alzheimer's known as APO E4, leads to this highly accurate prediction for Alzheimer's disease, 20 years before diagnosis.

So far, the gold standard has been a PET brain scan, but it seems that this new blood test algorithm is even more accurate.

The study followed 158 adults over the age of 50 of whom 148 were cognitively normal at the start of the study. The blood test and PET agreed 88% of the time, but it is interesting to note that some years later, when some false positive blood tests were examined, the PET was abnormal.

In summary, if you are over 65 you have a double risk for Alzheimer's disease every five years. If your APO E4 is positive, there is an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease somewhere between 3-5 times and when these two factors are combined with positive amyloid blood tests, there is a accurate prediction of 94% of Alzheimer's disease.

But could you ask yourself: why should I want to live with the sword of Damocles in the balance and really above my head waiting to strike? The answer to this is very clear. At present, the current management of Alzheimer's disease is rather poor and the prognosis is appalling in almost all cases. But there have been some very encouraging studies done on new drugs in this area and in particular monoclonal antibodies have shown a stabilization and even a reversal in some cases. Another drug-Anavex, in a small study of only 32 people performed in Melbourne, showed a significant reversal of the disease, not to mention the studies on some antidepressants and anti-inflammatories that showed some benefits especially in laboratory animals and in some jobs early humans.

Professor David Smith of Oxford University performed the Optima trial of 271 people with mild cognitive impairment who measured MRI scans and neurocognitive tests at the start of the study and two years later. This was a randomized, placebo-controlled study of high-dose multivitamins, which showed a 30% reduction in Alzheimer's disease progression and in those patients with the highest homocysteine ​​levels, a 50% reduction.

A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom, known as the Whitehall 2 study of just over 10,200 participants, shows that maintaining high levels of social contact between the ages of 50 and 70 has led to a significant reduction in the progression towards cognitive decline.

Dale Bredesen wrote a book, The end of Alzheimer's diseaseand also published a pilot study on its MEND program of 11 patients with varying degrees of Alzheimer's disease. This study showed the disease reversal in 10/11 cases through the use of lifestyle modifications, nutraceuticals, or evidence-based supplements, brain training and transcranial brain stimulation.

So if you decide to have this blood test algorithm when it is available, if it is positive, giving you the potential to develop Alzheimer's disease in 20 years, there is already growing evidence that there are so many things you can do. right now to prevent any progression to this horrible condition. Furthermore, with significant advances in modern medicine, it is highly likely that we will have very effective therapies for this condition over the next 5-10 years. So would you like to know? I would definitely do it!

Published: Wednesday 14 August 2019

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