Sunday, July 24, 2016

TAKE AN ALZHEIMER'S PILL NOW?

Yes, there's pill -- a possible new approach to Alzheimer's  that may be a way of curing the disease before you get it.

Hey, one third of Americans over 85 are already affected  by Alzheimer's. Globally, 50 million are living with dementia. Since 2000 more than 200 Alzheimer's drugs have been tested; only a handful of drugs can  relieve some of the worst problems of memory loss and confusion.

In this issue of Time Magazine, we are told about Dr. Frank Longo, top neurologist at Stanford University -- his very impressive background, and the drug Longo created -- LM11A-31, that he calls C31. It's currently in Phase two of testing; the first Phase proved it was safe for humans to take. Right now, it is being tested on people with the disease to see if it ameliorates their symptoms. After Phase two, it will be on its way to being approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dr Longo's drug can treat the disease before "amyloid"  (waxy sticky protein) appears in the brain.
Amyloid appears sometimes decades before there are any symptoms. If treatment begins before there is too much damage to various cognitive processes, the damage can be reversed. Therefore, Longo wants all adults to be tested for amyloids when they're relatively young.

Huh? What age does the Doc mean -- age 65, age 50, or younger -- 30 or 40? This sticky stuff -- what causes sticky protein to form -- diet, genes -- is it related to diabetes, sedentary existence? I waded through this six page cover story, without finding specific answers, just more about Longo's approach and other doctors' strategies. If you want to read it, click Alzheimer's From a New Angle.

I read the other sections in this issue about fear of dying, and what other things you can do to live longer, like getting your 23 chromosomes analyzed by 23AND ME, a DNA testing website that tells you what you can expect to go wrong with you as you grow older.

Hurray for the sciences that give us information about the dangers for us as we travel down the road. NO, I wouldn't enroll in 23AND ME, but gee, yes, oh YES, I would take Dr. Longo's test.

I want my brain to keep functioning, growing, getting wiser, and keep on being busy -- busier than ever -- working and learning and creating every single-wingle day of my life.
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