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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s treatment’

BBC News (7/5) reported that, according to a mouse study published in the July 5 online edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, “drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer’s disease.” For the study, researchers from the University of Florida studied “55 mialzce…bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)” and found that “caffeine hampered the production of the” beta-amyloid “protein plaques which are the hallmark of” AD. The team used “behavioral tests to confirm the mice were exhibiting signs of memory impairment when they were aged 18 to 19 months, the equivalent to humans being about 70,” then “gave half the mice caffeine in their drinking water. The rest were given plain water.” The animals received “the equivalent of five 8 oz. (227 grams) cups of coffee a day — about 500 milligrams of caffeine.”
        The UK’s Telegraph (7/5) explained that “at the end of the two-month study, the caffeine-drinking mice performed far better on tests of memory and thinking than mice given only water.” In fact, “their memories were as sharp as those of healthy older mice without dementia.” For humans, the “equivalent dose for their body weight would be consuming 500 milligrams of caffeine a day, equivalent to five cups of ordinary coffee,” which is “the same amount of caffeine can be obtained by drinking two cups of strong coffee, 14 cups of tea, or 20 cola drinks.”
        HealthDay (7/5, McKeever) pointed out that, according to the study’s authors, “consuming 500 milligrams of caffeine a day would not cause ill effects for most people,” but “people with high blood pressure or who are pregnant need to limit their caffeine intake.” Notably, the study authors “also found that caffeine did not improve the memory of normal mice as it did for the Alzheimer’s mice.” They concluded, “This suggests that caffeine will not increase memory performance above normal levels. Rather, it appears to benefit those destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”

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HealthDay (3/15, Preidt) reported that “a new class of Alzheimer’s disease drugs may prevent long-term damage from traumatic brain injury, suggests a study of mice by Georgetown University Medical Center researchers.” The medications “– gamma-secretase inhibitors — are designed to target amyloid plaque that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.” Researchers noted that “people who’ve suffered a brain injury have a 400 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” For the study, which appears in the journal Nature Medicine, they “first conducted tests that showed that brain injury in mice resulted in substantially more amyloid peptide than normal. They then found that amyloid peptide production after brain injury was reduced in mice that received an experimental agent called DAPT, one of the first gamma secretase inhibitors developed and the basis for some Alzheimer’s disease drugs now in clinical trials.” Their findings “suggest that this class of drugs could do something no other drug has been able to do — prevent the long-term and continuing damage that often follows serious brain injury.” The Press Association (3/16) also covers the story.

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