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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Another Risk Factor for Alzheimer's?


Newly discovered variants in a key gene may indicate a modest risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease.


By Jennifer Chu


Scientists who have studied the genetic makeup of several large and ethnically diverse populations have discovered another gene that may be a modest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

The gene, called SORL1, may be involved in the development of late-onset Alzheimer's, the most common form of the disease, which occurs after age 65 and accounts for 90 percent of Alzheimer's cases today.

Researchers say determining how SORL1 and other genes cause or influence Alzheimer's disease could open up new avenues for diagnosis and treatment.


"Ultimately, one wants to be able to profile an individual for genes and variants within genes … that may give an understanding of the disease process," says Lindsay Farrer, chief of the genetics program at Boston University. "And secondly … therapies can be tailored to an individual's profile. We're still in the early days of filling in the pieces of that puzzle."


Farrer and his colleagues zeroed in on the gene SORL1 thanks to previous studies that revealed a key biological pathway in Alzheimer's.

Today, most researchers agree that the disease is caused by a buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain. The chain of events that produces this plaque begins with a normal protein, amyloid precursor (app).


When this protein comes in contact with a certain type of enzyme called presenilin, that enzyme cuts, or cleaves, app into a more toxic peptide, amyloid-beta. This sticky protein fragment clumps together to form amyloid plaques, killing nerve cells. For years, scientists have looked for ways to stem this cascade. SORL1, according to Farrer, could play a pivotal role in the disease's pathway.


Through previous cellular experiments, Farrer and other research groups found that SORL1 is essentially a trafficking molecule.

Under normal conditions, SORL1 directs app away from what researchers call the "forbidden zone"--where the enzyme presenilin resides--thus preventing the protein from being sliced apart to form toxic plaque.


"It's like a delivery boy or carrier protein that delivers the amyloid precursor to various parts of the cell," says Samuel Gandy, director of the Farber Institute of Neurosciences and vice chair of the Alzheimer's Association's Scientific Advisory Council.

"It sits at the crossroads of a cell and tells proteins where to go."


In a five-year study, published in the February edition of Nature Genetics, Farrer, along with colleagues from the University of Toronto, Columbia University, and the Mayo Clinic, analyzed DNA samples from 6,000 people across nine different groups.

These groups included Northern-European Caucasians, Caribbean Hispanics, Israeli Arabs, and African Americans.

Some groups were selected based on family history: two or more members had the disease. Others were selected based on sibling pairs: one sibling had Alzheimer's, the other didn't.

The rest had no family linkage to the disease. All cases were compared with controls: genotypes of people without Alzheimer's.

Technology Review: Another Risk Factor for Alzheimer's?
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Exercise enhances production of NGF, BDNF, and several other neuronal growth factors:   » Neurogenesis and How Learning Saves Your Neurons « Brain Fitness Revolution at SharpBrains License to R

I think there are different exercises that can accomodate anyone's preferences or body type. I just like running, I guess. Always have since I was a kid, although I wasn't able to train more until the

The movie 'Notebook' ... it hows you why people get Dementia... and it can happen at any age, including pre-natal.   -It is somewhat similar to schizophrenia... the mind 'divides' what was the conscie



Because people get old.

No it has nothing to do with the ageing process. Ageing is a risk factor.

Young people can get Alzheimers


This is interesting-but we do not have Lyme Disesae in Oz!- although it is suspected there is something similar.

So far all cases of Alzheimer's disease tested for the Borrelia burgdorfi Bb spirochete, which causes Lyme Disease, have tested positive.

Dr. James Howenstine -- The Overlooked Relationship Between Infectious Diseases And Mental Symptoms


Lyme disease (LD) is a tick-borne zoonosis caused by the spirochaete bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. Since the disease was first recognised in 1975 it has become the most frequently reported human tick-borne infection worldwide. It has been reported from every continent (except Antarctica) although doubt remains as to whether it occurs in the southern hemisphere in general, and in Australia in particular

Lyme Disease


Cutting Edge - a series that explores medicine's newest hypotheses


Is there an association between β-amyloid in Alzheimer's disease and herpes simplex virus type 1?


In the latest issue of Medical Hypotheses there is an interesting article Senile plaques in Alzheimer’s diseased brains: Possible association of β-amyloid with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) L-particles by E.M. Kammerman, D.M. Neumann, M.J. Ball, Walter Lukiw and J.M. Hill of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans that begins:

"The characteristic insoluble, senile (neuritic) plaques found extracellularly in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) contain the fibrillar form of β-amyloid (Aβ42).

A substantial proportion of autopsied elderly brains have demonstrated DNA evidence of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infiltration. HSV-1-infected cells produce significant quantities of non-infectious, non-DNA-containing light particles (L-particles) comprised of viral envelope and tegument proteins. HSV-induced L-particles can be exocytosed out of their host cells."

Global Family Doctor - Wonca Online | Cutting Edge


A long list of Alzheimers links

Medical, Health and First Aid Information A to G

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Very droll


In this month's Cosmos science magazine there is an article by

Ramez Naam, one of the creators of internet explorer and outlook

(good issue on the brain SEE: - )


He talks about some research being done by Mark Tuszynski and co on NGF "nerve growth factor" a brain chemical that triggers the growth of neurons. When this was enhanced genetically (?) the progress of Alzheimer's was reduced by a factor of three. This looks like being a very promising way to go in treating the disease.


However there are other implications; NGF therapy can give rats and mice better than normal memory (University of Rochester NY Tim Tulley; and Eric Kandel). mice can learn 2-5 times quicker than normal mice.

Namm says this therapy may lead us to drugs that can not only teach us how memory works but will enable smarter faster learning doctors, engineers scientists etc


Namm talks about the ethical issues involved; but I say bring it on. I have always had a bad memory. give me the pill!


There are a few herbs that are said to enhance memory. I wonder if they contain drugs that enhance NGF? They include:

gotu kola (Hydrocotlyte asiatica) ,

(Red) sage (Salvia officinalis var?) especially when in flower; BBC NEWS | Health | Sage herb 'can boost memory'

Rosemary and Ginseng (probably just help blood flow to brain, altough ginseng probably also promotes testosterone)

Ginkgo biloba

Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies

Galanthus nivalis

This would be an interesting paper to read has anyone access to it

Plants with traditional uses and activities, relevant to the management of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders

Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies

Peter J. Houghton ([email protected])

huperzine A (isolated from Chinese club moss)

Vinca minor (periwinkle plant)

U.S. Pharmacist

Zanthoxylum fruit

SpringerLink - Journal Article

Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's Wort)

Behavioural Pharmacology - Abstract: Volume 12(3) May 2001 p 173-182 An investigation into the acute nootropic effects of Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's Wort) in healthy human volunteers.

and many others?


Happy gardening

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And has been consistently touted to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Go put on your running shoes and hit the track!

Funny I have never been able to run, a 100yd sprint maybe, but never anything long.


So you have heard of NGF?

Whats BDNF?

Checked your link, fascinating site. Strange however that they have no papers on herbs or plants for Alzheimer's

Alzforum: Live Discussions: BDNF and Alzheimer's Disease—What's the Connection?

Updated 28 January 2004

BDNF and Alzheimer's Disease—What's the Connection?

By Nicole C. Berchtold and Carl W. Cotman


Live Discussion held 25 November 2003. See Transcript.


Why Is BDNF interesting?


The protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been the focus of intense interest in the Alzheimer's field for a number of years.

BDNF belongs to the neurotrophin family of growth factors and affects the survival and function of neurons in the central nervous system, particularly in brain regions susceptible to degeneration in AD.

BDNF improves survival of cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain, as well as neurons in the hippocampus and cortex.

This discovery kindled hope in the early 1990s that Alzheimer's could be slowed or halted if brain levels of BDNF could be increased.

The idea gained support with the observation that BDNF gene activity and protein levels are reduced in AD brains.


Been drinking herb tea all day since last post:)

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Because people get old.



Well yes Racoon. I do agree because as unfortunate as life can get my grandfather(on my dad's side) got hit on the head so he had amnisia for a while. After that he went to a hospital and for paying the fees his daughters asked for the money and bugged him so much he went wacko or, in more scientififc terms, he got alzeihmers I think. We're not sure because all he remembers is money and his wife which,sadly enough, thinks is his mother.:( :crying:


Please tell me if this is alzeihmer's or this is something else. If so, tell me what it is and what it does.;)


P.S.- He's really clumbsy like me but I don't think it's that whole Third- Generation Problems. My brother will be able to figure what's happening to him and how to fix it(he's a medical wiz).

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Funny I have never been able to run, a 100yd sprint maybe, but never anything long.


I think there are different exercises that can accomodate anyone's preferences or body type. I just like running, I guess. Always have since I was a kid, although I wasn't able to train more until the last year. Since then, it's been a regular part of my exercise.


So you have heard of NGF?

Whats BDNF?

Checked your link, fascinating site. Strange however that they have no papers on herbs or plants for Alzheimer's

Alzforum: Live Discussions: BDNF and Alzheimer's Disease—What's the Connection?


I know a little bit about them. I'm not very knowledgeable about their exact physiological effects on neurons, but from what I've gleaned, they're very important and work in concert to help neurons grow, stay alive, and improve function. Where the concentration of these neural growth factors is high, neurons act more healthy, resist damage better, fire stronger impulses, and grow more dendrites and control them better--which all translates into better health and performance for the brain.


I've come across stories like this one:


Neuron Savers: Gene therapy slows Alzheimer's disease: Science News Online, April 30, 2005


Where they took skin cells, genetically modified them to produce extra NGF, then implanted them in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The treatment helped to slow the degeneration.


I came across more information about the relationship between neural growth factors, learning, exercise, etc. when I was trying to check for natural methods to relieve depression, which I was suffering at the time. (I feel quite fine now, though. Much more like my old self and never so good. :)) It seems that many things which ail the brain may work through common mechanisms or may stem from common causes.


One more strange thing about NGF is that it's also found in saliva. It gives a whole new meaning to the old phrase to "lick one's wounds." ;)


IngentaConnect Nerve growth factor concentration in human saliva

Entrez PubMed


Been drinking herb tea all day since last post:)


Keep on drinking it and others. :) It may do you more good than you realize:


BBC NEWS | Health | Green tea compound Alzheimer hope

Neuroscience for Kids - Tea and Alzheimer's Disease

Entrez PubMed

Entrez PubMed


Blueberry vs. Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases:


Entrez PubMed

CNN.com - Wild Blue - Aug 2, 2006 (Last part of the article.)

Reversals of Age-Related Declines in Neuronal Signal Transduction, Cognitive, and Motor Behavioral Deficits with Blueberry, Spinach, or Strawberry Dietary Supplementation -- Joseph et al. 19 (18): 8114 -- Journal of Neuroscience


Red wine (resveratrol) vs. Alzheimer's:


ScienceDaily: Compound In Wine Reduces Levels Of Alzheimer's Disease-causing Peptides


Cocoa vs. Alzheimer's:


Some cocoa may improve brain blood flow | Jerusalem Post (Eat chocolate and die, amyloid plaques.)


So there might be a few ways of reducing the risk or getting around it. Some populations don't seem to have high rates of Alzheimer's disease, and it may be due to diet and habits rather than genetics. I think genetics does play a part, but exercise, diet, and habits maybe more so. I don't think the population genetics of Western countries has changed all that much in a few generations, but our habits, diets, and fitness demonstrably have, and perhaps it's no coincidence that risk factors for Alzheimer's are many of the same risk factors for heart disease, strokes, or other forms of dementia.


I'm not a neuroscientist or doctor, though, so don't take my speculation for fact. I know very little about the brain, although neuroscience interests me a lot. Someday I'll get some neuroscience textbooks and learn more about it straight from the sources.


Thank you for the article on BDNF as well! Learnin', learnin', learnin'. Gotta crank out more NGF, BDNF, and others to accomodate that new info. ;)

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P.S.- He's really clumbsy like me but I don't think it's that whole Third- Generation Problems. My brother will be able to figure what's happening to him and how to fix it(he's a medical wiz).

Sounds like he needs a specialist neurologist, a brain scan and some psychometric tests to find out what is going on. I would start that as a matter of urgency


Great post maikeru

The system won't let me give you more reputation! (mean B**t**ds- I thought positive strokes were unlimited)

It is going to take me all day to properly read your post.


In saliva! How amazing.

Love quirky facts like that!

Why do you think? Just leaks down by gravity?

How do you lick your head.? If you lick a wound does it go into bloodstream and send out some help messages??


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Cold Sore Virus Might Play Role in Alzheimer�s

A gene known to be a major risk factor for Alzheimer�s disease puts out the welcome mat for the virus that causes cold sores, allowing the virus to be more active in the brain compared to other forms of the gene.

The new findings, published online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, add some scientific heft to the idea, long suspected by some scientists, that herpes somehow plays a role in bringing about Alzheimer�s disease.



(Media-Newswire.com) - The work links a form of the ApoE gene known as ApoE-4, which after advanced age is the leading known risk factor for getting Alzheimer�s disease, with the form of herpes � herpes simplex 1 or HSV � that infects more than 80 percent of Americans and causes cold sores around the mouth.

The findings from a group at the University of Rochester Medical Center show that the particular form of the gene that puts people at risk also creates a fertile environment for herpes in the brain, allowing the virus to be more active than other forms of the ApoE gene permit.


Scientists have known for more than 15 years that the ApoE-4 gene is a player in Alzheimer�s disease, but the idea that it works in concert with the herpes virus is new.


�This work raises the question whether herpes in concert with ApoE-4 increases the risk of Alzheimer�s disease.

The data suggests that ApoE-4 may support the ability of HSV to be a more virulent pathogen,� said Howard Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., the leader of the team and professor of Neurology, Medicine, and Microbiology & Immunology.

He worked closely with post-doctoral research associate Renee Miller, Ph.D., on the project.


The findings, which are based on measurements of the activity levels of the herpes virus in the brains of mice with different forms of the human ApoE gene, bring together several lines of research that have pointed toward a possible role for herpes in Alzheimer�s disease.


Ruth Itzhaki of the University of Manchester has

Media-Newswire.com - Press Release Distribution - PR Agency

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The movie 'Notebook' ... it hows you why people get Dementia... and it can happen at any age, including pre-natal.


-It is somewhat similar to schizophrenia... the mind 'divides' what was the conscience part into , now a 'rudimentary living mind' and the inaccesible 'memory of my life' mind. --> the information is still thier (to an extent, after a while, especially when it occurs at old age brain tissue itself deteriorates)


--Dementia seems to occur more frequently among the educated (notebook) , it is definatley a disease of the thinker. The major problem that instantiates dmentia is the fact that the thinker always requires outside influences to set thier personal opinion. There comes a piont where the 'affluently stored information' becomes unnecessary for normal living, sadly the algorithm that should normally decide for you to store those afluent memories, has been disprupted by constant bantering from the conscience indesision to store information without an influence. The 'storage algorithm', is exhuasted, and can no longer cope with being asked wether or not it should store information as a relfex or an accessible memory... the alogroithm goes into protection mode, and locks down the pathway to access, at first the reflex memories that are associated with feeling (these memories are the least accesed by the sufferer, by thier own decision throughout thier lifetime), then goes the skils aka stored procedures.


--so curing the mind of indecision to store information in the right data bank...?


we are given a clue, that a heart felt notebook is the cure.


-so to curb old age dimentia... don't be so indecisive about how you go about remmebering everyday feelings... just live - without emotional thought. ...in the meantime, you are welcom to learn the piano or whatever, as long as you don't stuff around always analysing and pndering upon your emotions, you won't over work your data delegation algorithm (which was created at birth, so fixing it is not an option, unless you can experience the womb again)


--how to curb the symptoms once diagnosed.... same advice, try to remmeber that the best thing to do is ot to try and remmeber what you are feeling...

DANY Krane!!! --don't Shredda your Kranium.

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Happy Days



Cold Sores? What Cold Sores?

The strange link between herpes and memory

by Kathy A. Svitil


As if cold sores weren’t bad enough,herpes simplex virus type 1 may now be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The connection involves apolipoprotein E (apoE), a protein that helps to transport cholesterol through the body.

There are several types of apoE genes; one, APOE-e4, is the leading risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. In previous studies, researchers also found that people who have the APOE-e4 gene and have herpes simplex DNA in their brains are even more likely to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Cold Sores? What Cold Sores? | Health & Medicine | DISCOVER Magazine

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The movie 'Notebook' ... it hows you why people get Dementia... and it can happen at any age, including pre-natal.

--Dementia seems to occur more frequently among the educated (notebook) , it is definatley a disease of the thinker. .

Things people don't seem to be aware of.

It is definately seen as almost ineviatble process of old age. which it isnt

even here the slang term for it (said with an Oz twang) Is OLDTIMER's

Someone sent me this. I don't know where it came from


show details

22:56 (5 hours ago)

Piracetam for dementia or cognitive impairment


Flicker L, Grimley Evans J.


Evidence for the efficacy of piracetam for dementia or cognitive impairment is inadequate for clinical use but sufficient to justify further research.


Piracetam was one of the first drugs used for dementia and comes from the class of drugs called nootropics, whose putative actions are still poorly defined. Most of the trials of piracetam were undertaken many years ago and did not use methods which would be currently considered standard. Some of the studies suggested there may be some benefit from piracetam but overall the evidence is not consistent or positive enough to support its use for dementia or cognitive impairment.


This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007 Issue 2, Copyright © 2007 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).

This record should be cited as: Flicker L, Grimley Evans J.. Piracetam for dementia or cognitive impairment. Art. No.: CD001011. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001011.


Date of last subtantive update: November 05. 2003

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Alzheimer's, why?


Perhaps a lack of omega-3 fatty acid in the diet:


A diet rich in a type of omega-3 fatty acid can help prevent Alzheimer's disease, and a newly discovered molecule might block enzymes in the brain that lead to plaque formations.


omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA for short, can slow the accumulation of tau, a protein that leads to plaque and tangles in brain tissue seen in Alzheimer's.


Omega-3 and Alzheimer’s - Archives - Prepared Foods

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Just listened to this

Health Report - 21 May 2007  - Alzheimer's, testosterone and the ageing brain

Big study being done in Australia.

Diet is part of it.

It only stays podcast on the site for four weeks.

If I can workout how to download and upload it I will attach it to this post (big ask)

Well worth a listen.

Alzheimer's, testosterone and the ageing brain

Boosting levels of testosterone in the body can reduce levels of the protein beta amyloid in the brain, one of the key players in causing Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent breakthrough in Australian research.

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