Author Topic: Wrong About Alzheimer’s All Along; beta amyloid the wrong focus?  (Read 262 times)

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Offline mountaineer

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Wrong About Alzheimer’s All Along
By Elizabeth Lopatto | The Daily Beast – 7 hrs ago
Quote
If Claude Wischik is right, almost 20 years of drug development for Alzheimer’s disease have been a costly mistake. Wischik, a chair in mental health at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland, is a founder of TauRx, a Singapore-based pharmaceutical company. He’s also one of several scientists loudly questioning the focus of most Alzheimer’s research.

Dominating the research field is a protein called beta amyloid, identified by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Most researchers believe Alzheimer’s disease to be the caused by the accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain. Beta amyloid is sticky and forms plaque, which then strangles healthy cells, according to the amyloid theory of Alzheimer’s disease development. More than 100 drugs targeting beta amyloid have failed. Perhaps the drugs weren’t good, or perhaps the drugs were administered too late to be helpful. Or, if Wischik is right, beta amyloid has been the wrong focus all along.

“It’s extraordinary that in the face of these failed trials, the claims for amyloid remain exactly the same as though there haven’t been any failure,” Wischik said. “There’s been no fundamental revision of the thinking.” ...

Wischik isn’t alone in his amyloid skepticism, either. Mike Williams, editor of the Journal of Biophysiology, says there’s “no evidence” amyloid is causative.

“Amyloid, despite 30 years of research, really hasn’t gotten anywhere,” Williams said. “We’re going to see some major changes if the amyloid hypothesis is totally and utterly wrong.’’

Wischik proposes another mechanism. Beta amyloid, he thinks, is one of many things that can stress cellular garbage disposal in the brain. One of these things is tau, another protein used in cells to hold open channels so they can receive nutrients. When tau misbehaves, it clumps together, and the cells can’t get the food they need. What’s more, once the tau’s gone bad in one area of the brain, there’s a runaway chain reaction in the brain. Slowly, more and more of the tau goes bad, until a patient has Alzheimer’s disease. ...

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Online jmyrlefuller

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Re: Wrong About Alzheimer’s All Along; beta amyloid the wrong focus?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 01:55:12 PM »
Hmm... tau protein also happens to be the culprit in the "chronic traumatic encephalopathy" diagnosis that is en vogue among retired athletes.

I suppose it might be something worth investigating, considering they're still using 1906 theories that haven't panned out.
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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Wrong About Alzheimer’s All Along; beta amyloid the wrong focus?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 02:02:37 PM »
When my father died in 1993 from early onset Alzheimers at age 69, we donated his brain for research. They told us all about the beta amyloid and plaque they found. I wonder what it all meant.  :shrug:
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Wrong About Alzheimer’s All Along; beta amyloid the wrong focus?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 03:45:05 PM »
"wrong" is a bit of an over-the-top accusation here.  when he says all the amyloid drugs have failed, does he mean that they failed to clear out the plaques, or that they didn't cure the alzheimer's even though they cleared away the amyloid?  If the former, then he's really being unfair, if the latter, then he does have a strong basis for the assertion, but it's still a little over-the-top.


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