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A Rare Disease May Lead to New Treatment for Alzheimer's

August 29, 2014

A 40-year old man with a rare disease may help researchers in finding a new method of treating Alzheimer's disease. A mutation of the protein apoE4 is known to increase the chances of a person developing dementia, however, researchers have found a man with a rare condition whose body does not produce any of the apoE4 protein. Though the patient has many other health issues associated with his disease, such as high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, his brain and cognitive abilities appear to be functioning normally. Though researchers are not sure how the aging process will affect the patient, they are optimistic that new treatments for Alzheimer's could involve reducing or eliminating the apoE4 protein from the brain, granted there...

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People with Down Syndrome: Making a Difference in Alzheimer's Research

August 26, 2014

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder often associated with intellectual disabilities, but it has also been proven to cause Alzheimer's. In fact, "by the age of 40, 100 percent of all individuals with Down syndrome have the pathology of Alzheimer's in their brain" (Rafii: source.) . Because of this, researchers at the University of California in San Diego chose to work with people with Down syndrome as their study group in testing an experimental Alzheimer's drug. Alzheimer's researchers are increasingly interested in people like McCowan because "people with Down syndrome represent the world's largest population of individuals predisposed to getting Alzheimer's disease," says Michael Rafii, director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at UCSD. ... Down syndrome is caused by the presence...

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The Link Between Vitamin D and Dementia: Confirmed

August 21, 2014

  A new study published in an article by the journal Neurology illuminates the correlation between low vitamin D in older adults and increased risk of developing forms of dementia, and in some cases, Alzheimer's. This observational study looked at vitamin D levels in 1,658 people age 65+ who were free from dementia, cardiovascular disease, and stroke when they submitted blood samples for the Cardiovascular Health Study between 1992–1993 and 1999. The study participants were later tested for levels of vitamin D and evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. During the study, 171 participants developed dementia, including 102 cases of Alzheimer’s. Compared to participants with normal levels of vitamin D, those with low levels of vitamin D had a...

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