Alzheimer's Might Be Transmissible in Similar Way as Infectious Prion Diseases, Research Suggests

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    Oct 05, 2011 6:50 PM GMT
    Yikes.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004113757.htm

    The brain damage that characterizes Alzheimer's disease may originate in a form similar to that of infectious prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, according to newly published research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

    "Our findings open the possibility that some of the sporadic Alzheimer's cases may arise from an infectious process, which occurs with other neurological diseases such as mad cow and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease," said Claudio Soto, Ph.D., professor of neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, part of UTHealth. "The underlying mechanism of Alzheimer's disease is very similar to the prion diseases. It involves a normal protein that becomes misshapen and is able to spread by transforming good proteins to bad ones. The bad proteins accumulate in the brain, forming plaque deposits that are believed to kill neuron cells in Alzheimer's."

    The results showing a potentially infectious spreading of Alzheimer's disease in animal models were published in the Oct. 4, 2011 online issue of Molecular Psychiatry, part of the Nature Publishing Group. The research was funded by The George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Center for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Brain Disorders at UTHealth.

    Alzheimer's disease is a form of progressive dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Of the estimated 5.4 million cases of Alzheimer's in the United States, 90 percent are sporadic. The plaques caused by misshapen aggregates of beta amyloid protein, along with twisted fibers of the protein tau, are the two major hallmarks associated with the disease. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

    Researchers injected the brain tissue of a confirmed Alzheimer's patient into mice and compared the results to those from injected tissue of a control without the disease. None of the mice injected with the control showed signs of Alzheimer's, whereas all of those injected with Alzheimer's brain extracts developed plaques and other brain alterations typical of the disease.
    "We took a normal mouse model that spontaneously does not develop any brain damage and injected a small amount of Alzheimer's human brain tissue into the animal's brain," said Soto, who is director of the Mitchell Center. "The mouse developed Alzheimer's over time and it spread to other portions of the brain. We are currently working on whether disease transmission can happen in real life under more natural routes of exposure."
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing the info. Another reason for giving to the Alzheimer's Association as they continue to research claims such as these. My kids and I just finished the Alzheimer's Walk in SF raising money in memory of my mother who died of Alzheimer's.

    Public awareness is very important!
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    "And so it came to pass because of the noxious prion Al-Zheimer, that the custom of the Elder Wandering was established; for it was written that whosoever findeth his second childhood at great age, shall be sent a-wandering forever alone into the wilderness, armed only with an spatula, an shaved wombat, and a case of tangerines, to prepare himself to meet his goddess..."

    Chronicles of the Prophet Spencer Pratt 6:9
  • dancedancekj

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    Oct 05, 2011 8:08 PM GMT
    So where is the potential source of the prions coming from?
    As I understood, BSE was normally transmitted via neural tissue consumption, although all parts of the body were infected with the protein. I know that people are supposed to avoid the neural tissues of deer/venison with chronic wasting disease, and it appears that studies have been conducted to show that scrapies spreads via milk and urine in sheep and goats.

    I wonder if we are obtaining it from an animal source in our diet, or if it is being transmitted via something like urine in the groundwater, or if we are even transmitting it via human contact (perhaps Alzheimers is spread via sexual activity?)

    Thanks for sharing this!
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    I wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's. I just found out that I'm a double E4, which is the highest risk group.
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    paradox saidI wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's. I just found out that I'm a double E4, which is the highest risk group.
    How was that determined for you?
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    What???
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:31 PM GMT
    herdthosecats.png
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:55 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    paradox saidI wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's. I just found out that I'm a double E4, which is the highest risk group.
    How was that determined for you?


    DNA testing at 23andme.com
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    Oct 05, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    cool, I'll check it out. I'm wondering how much more predisposed I am since I had a relative that had it.
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    Oct 13, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    paradox saidI wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's.


    And, here's the answer:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201110/could-alzheimers-dementia-be-caused-virus
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    Oct 13, 2011 5:26 PM GMT
    <====IMMUNE TO ALL DISEASE.
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    Oct 17, 2011 1:55 PM GMT
    Interesting and a great find, but I still disagree with animal testing
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    Oct 17, 2011 1:58 PM GMT
    paradox said
    paradox saidI wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's.


    And, here's the answer:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201110/could-alzheimers-dementia-be-caused-virus


    all diseases with unknown causes could be caused by viruses though...
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    Oct 25, 2011 2:48 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidInteresting and a great find, but I still disagree with animal testing
    A lot disagree with stem cell research also but I'll bet most of them have never watched their mother go from be active and vibrant to wandering aimlessly every day unaware of her surroundings and eventually losing the ability to walk, sit, eat and live. It's not a pretty site to see and research is the way of being able to advance ways of finding cures or even slowing the process.
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    Oct 25, 2011 2:53 AM GMT
    eb925guy said
    GreenHopper saidInteresting and a great find, but I still disagree with animal testing
    A lot disagree with stem cell research also but I'll bet most of them have never watched their mother go from be active and vibrant to wandering aimlessly every day unaware of her surroundings and eventually losing the ability to walk, sit, eat and live. It's not a pretty site to see and research is the way of being able to advance ways of finding cures or even slowing the process.


    Yeah, and if you see how those animals are treated .. i mean playing the mother card is honestly cheap.. because if I were to slip away like that myself, I would INSIST I would be let go, instead of having to make those poor animals suffer.. I will not wantonly make others suffer for my well-being.. and thats exactly what animal testing does.. so dont even start me on this, because i get violently enraged over being told nonsense like this.... do not fan a man's homicidal rage

    Goodbye
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    Oct 25, 2011 2:55 AM GMT
    JakeGHK saidYou can now catch Alzheimer's..... peachy.
    WHAT? Catch as in catch it from someone or catch it as it's occurring in someone. To my knowledge, catching it early in someone only allows for the early medication, such as Arisept, to slow down the speed of the disorientation. That drug also loses it's efficiency after a length of time. Then there's a need to find another that will work, but between stopping one and starting another (need to phase them out) a lot can be lost in a person's quality of life.

    Edited: To correct the wording indicating that there is no slowing down the disease but only the confusion and disorientation that comes as a result of having Alzheimer's. Thanks 'Theantijock' for catching my misstatement.
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    Oct 25, 2011 2:55 AM GMT
    The prion etiology suggested in the popular press digestion is quite a distortion from the actual research paper. Transplanting diseased tissue doesn't prove an infectious agent (let alone something as rare as prions), it just demonstrates an immune reaction to foreign material.
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    Oct 25, 2011 2:56 AM GMT
    BAMF said<====IMMUNE TO ALL DISEASE.


    Yeah, right.
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    Oct 25, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    eb925guy said
    GreenHopper saidInteresting and a great find, but I still disagree with animal testing
    A lot disagree with stem cell research also but I'll bet most of them have never watched their mother go from be active and vibrant to wandering aimlessly every day unaware of her surroundings and eventually losing the ability to walk, sit, eat and live. It's not a pretty site to see and research is the way of being able to advance ways of finding cures or even slowing the process.


    Yeah, and if you see how those animals are treated .. i mean playing the mother card is honestly cheap.. because if I were to slip away like that myself, I would INSIST I would be let go, instead of having to make those poor animals suffer.. I will not wantonly make others suffer for my well-being.. and thats exactly what animal testing does.. so dont even start me on this, because i get violently enraged over being told nonsense like this.... do not fan a man's homicidal rage

    Goodbye
    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Give me an alternative to some of the testing of animals. I don't know how many are used for testing cures to Alzheimer's but I think that fact that you're not dying of mumps, measles, chicken pox, polio, TB and number of other childhood diseases and you can get enraged is a credit to all the testing (animals or not) done to come up with cures, vaccinations or what have you that allows both of us to argue online icon_smile.gif

    As for the 'mother card', trust me, if you've not been there, you're not fully understanding what it's like. Ask anyone who has lost someone they love to this disease. It's NOT unfair, it's reality!
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    Oct 25, 2011 6:24 AM GMT
    paradox saidI wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's. I just found out that I'm a double E4, which is the highest risk group.


    Regardless of health privacy laws, I'm not so sure I trust the system to go after that info myself. I felt that way even before an aging studies professor warned our class against it. Also I'm not so sure what good is it to know the info as even the theories on APOE4/Alzheimer's seems to require co-factors. What was your reasoning in submitting to the test please?

    eb925guy said...catching it early in someone only allows for the early medication, such as Aerosept, to slow down the speed of the advancement. That drug also loses it's efficiency after a length of time. Then there's a need to find another that will work, but between stopping one and starting another (need to phase them out) a lot can be lost in a person's quality of life.


    Either I have AD, or your memory is not so good, or perhaps this is just a silly case of dejavu as I'm fairly certain you've made this claim before and that I've already noted what follows:

    As far as I know there is as yet no pill to "slow down the speed of the advancement" of Alzheimer's Disease. Current drugs like Aricept seem to work on the functionality of a person: their memory, coherence, orientation, coordination, etc. But it does not change the pace of AD's deterioration of the brain.

    So that if the person was going to suffer the disease from, say age 65 to 75, the person would likely expire at 75 with or without Aricept. But the person would hopefully remain higher functioning for a longer period with the drug. And yes, eventually the drug seems to have no appreciable effect in the functionality of the victim.
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    Oct 25, 2011 2:24 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    eb925guy said...catching it early in someone only allows for the early medication, such as Aerosept, to slow down the speed of the advancement. That drug also loses it's efficiency after a length of time. Then there's a need to find another that will work, but between stopping one and starting another (need to phase them out) a lot can be lost in a person's quality of life.


    Either I have AD, or your memory is not so good, or perhaps this is just a silly case of dejavu as I'm fairly certain you've made this claim before and that I've already noted what follows:

    As far as I know there is as yet no pill to "slow down the speed of the advancement" of Alzheimer's Disease. Current drugs like Aricept seem to work on the functionality of a person: their memory, coherence, orientation, coordination, etc. But it does not change the pace of AD's deterioration of the brain.
    Correction made, a misspoken comment. You're absolutely correct that Aricept (also corrected my spelling error) does not slow the disease but only slows or softens the disorientation that comes from having the disease. I stand corrected. Thanks.
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    Oct 25, 2011 4:19 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    paradox saidI wonder if or how this connects with the APO E4 allele, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer's. I just found out that I'm a double E4, which is the highest risk group.


    Regardless of health privacy laws, I'm not so sure I trust the system to go after that info myself. I felt that way even before an aging studies professor warned our class against it. Also I'm not so sure what good is it to know the info as even the theories on APOE4/Alzheimer's seems to require co-factors. What was your reasoning in submitting to the test please?



    I had my DNA tested because I was adopted and have no knowledge of my family medical history other than my biological mother being bipolar and from a family of hardcore alcoholics. She gave the adoption agency absolutely no information about my biological father, and learning that I am Haplogroup G2c reveals that he was from a very specific genetic subset of Ashkenazi Jews. I have no interest in meeting my biological family, but I am very interested in learning anything I can about my ancestral biological background. I am very thankful that DNA testing is available to me.
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    Oct 26, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    JakeGHK said
    BAMF saidIMMUNE TO ALL EXCEPT ASPERGERS.


    Corrected For Truth



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    Oct 26, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    eb925guy saidI stand corrected. Thanks.


    I was thinking it was an issue more mispoken than mistaken but my main concern was to keep the info str8 on this subject, particularly. Having spent 14 years as caregiver, I'll be one of the first to jump with joy when they find a pill to slow or stop the disease itself. I fucking hate Alzheimer's.

    paradox saidI had my DNA tested because I was adopted and have no knowledge of my family medical history .... I am very thankful that DNA testing is available to me.


    Yes, that certainly is something to be thankful for. Pardon the intrusive question. I wouldn't have thought of that.