Cure for Alzheimer's disease remains elusive

Cure for Alzheimer's disease remains elusive

Cure for Alzheimer's disease remains elusive

Dr. Huntington Potter, professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine says scientists all over the world are trying to understand the mechanism of Alzheimer's and use that information to develop new drugs.

The report estimates that by year 2025, 29 percent of all the elderly population translating in to 7.1 million people, could be diagnosed with this condition.

Those were some of the issues surrounding Alzheimer's disease highlighted in a presentation by Canadian science writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram in a public forum held Tuesday night at the Kelowna Community Theatre. "Contrary to the idea that tau is a product released by dying neurons, we have shown that the release of tau is an active and controlled activity that appears to be an important part of the disease process".

"Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease", said report author Christopher Taylor, who works as an epidemiologist with the CDC.

In 1906 Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, noticed changes in the brain tissue of a 51-year-old woman who had died of an unusual mental illness.

Years ago, researchers noted that people with Alzheimer's disease have high levels of tau in the cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds their brain and spinal cord.

That all changed in the 1970s because of three isolated events. It is one of the only causes of death among the top ten that can not be cured, prevented or even slowed in its progress. The only way a scientist can accurately diagnose the disease is through an autopsy.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.

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Lately in the news, Alzheimer's has also been referred to as type 3 diabetes.

"That public referral generated 22,000 similar letters to the society's office, and it was later revealed that "Confused" was actually someone from the society who submitted the letter in the first place, so that was a case perhaps where the ends justified the means".

Spending on care for people alive in the USA right now who will develop the affliction is projected to cost $47 trillion over the course of their lives, a report issued Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association found.

Tau is strongly linked to brain damage, so overproduction of the protein could be a critical step in the development of Alzheimer's, and reducing tau's production may help treat the disease, the researchers said. As the disease progresses, brain tissues shrink.

Given the long duration of this disease, the strain on Alzheimer's caregivers can last several years and produce serious declines in caregiver physical, emotional and financial well-being.

As the population of the USA ages, Alzheimer's is becoming a more common cause of death, and it is the only top 10 cause of death that can not be prevented, cured or even slowed.

"You can save a significant amount of money just through better early diagnosis", he said.

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