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Exciting: New ‘Seaweed-Based’ Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Extreme Promise

Image Credit: Natural Society

 

By Mike Barrett | Natural Society

 

It has been nearly 20 years since a new drug has been developed to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, it won’t be another 20 years until such a feat is accomplished, as a new drug called Oligomannate has been approved for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and improving cognitive function.” Only thing is – the approval takes place in China, and has yet to go through the proper channels to become approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dementia, used to describe a decline in cognitive function and memory, is said to be one of the costliest conditions we’re facing today. The prevalence of dementia is shocking, with an estimated 50 million people worldwide living with the condition in 2017. Worse, this number will almost double every 20 years.

Unfortunately, there has been little headway in terms of medical advancement in reliably treating and preventing the disease. Of course, we’ve made strides in discovering what might be the root causes and how to combat those root causes, but no real solution has yet to surface from the medical field.

As explained by Dr. Ronald Petersen, it’s hypothesized that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the presence of plaques and tangles in the brain. These plaques, known as amyloid plaques, build up in the brain in much the same way that plaques can build up in our arteries, causing the neural pathways to be slowed and damaged. Further, once these amyloid plaques are misprocessed and present in the brain, it leads to the misprocessing of something known as tau proteins, which leads to tangles in the brain, the death of nerve cells, and ultimately, dementia.

A Glimmer of Hope – Seaweed

In 1997, Geng Meiyu at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other researchers discovered how a sugar found in seaweed could somehow play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. What they didn’t realize was that more than 20 years later the research would expand into something that could be extremely exciting for the world at large.

Interestingly, it has been observed that there’s a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s among those who eat lots of seaweed, leading the researchers to hone in on the possible preventative connection.

Geng Meiyu and researchers published a paper outlining how the molecule found in seaweed reduces the formation of a protein harmful to neurons while also regulating the bacterium colonies in the gut to reduce the risk of brain inflammation. This means that Oligomannate not only relieves individuals of dementia symptoms, but also targets what is said to be the root cause of the disease – the amyloid plaques.

Though we should know by now that gut health influences our body on every level, this research “doubles down” on just how strong the connection between the gut and brain health truly is.

“These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease and imply that the gut microbiome is a valid target for the development of therapies,” neurologist Philip Scheltens, who advises Green Valley and heads the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, said in the statement.

For more than 20 years, pharmaceutical companies have invested hundreds of billions of dollars on Alzheimer’s drugs. South China Morning Post reports that more than 320 drugs were brought to clinical trial, with only 5 being approved for clinical use to relieve dementia symptoms. Unfortunately, none of them rose above the challenge that is Alzheimer’s, leading to the closure of numerous Alzheimer’s-related programs.

Though Oligomannate will be approved “very soon” in China, it will have to go through numerous hurdles to get approval by other government bodies to be used in places like Europe and the U.S.

Alzheimer’s is scary. Though everyone should practice every natural, preventative solution as possible, such as exercising regularly, training your brain with mental exercises, and consuming brain-healthy coconut oil, it’s exciting to see any advancement into treating an ailment we have largely failed at treating.




New Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease? Non-Invasive High Frequency Sound Waves May Be Effective, Drug-Free Solution

Elderly 80 plus year old grandmother with granddaughter-compressed

By Mae Chan | Prevent Disease

The most effective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease is gaining more notoriety and it’s drug-free. University of Queensland researchers have confirmed that non-invasive ultrasound technology breaks apart the neurotoxic amyloid plaques that result in memory loss and cognitive decline. The treatment is now being touted as the cure for the debilitating condition that accounts for 70 percent of all cases of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is not genetic. Research is showing the incidence is more correlated to excitotoxins and heavy metals which play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, especially in North America.

Related Article: 5 Major Causes of Alzheimer’s (One of them is Contracted Through Food!)

In the last few decades, almost $40 billion has been spent worldwide on trying to develop a breakthrough drug treatment for Alzheimer’s, yet no pharmaceutical approach has worked. We could not produce anything that could slow it down, let alone stop the disease, until now where new research into sound waves is being praised as a possible cure.

AD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive impairment. Although the exact cause of AD remains to be elucidated, we know that its development is associated with brain shrinkage and the formation of characteristic plaques in certain areas. These consist of dead cells and a protein known as amyloid-beta (A-Beta), which aggregates into abnormal fibers that accumulate as toxic clumps outside of cells.

Sounds Waves Not Drugs

Much research into AD has focused on preventing the buildup of these aggregates or clearing them from the brain, but scientists are faced with a problem: The brain is shielded by a delicate layer of cells, known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is very difficult for things to cross, such as therapeutics or helpful antibodies.

Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.

Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.

Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team described the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Related Article: Scientists Are Able to Eliminate Alzheimer’s Brain Plaque With Ultrasound Waves

The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks – a maze, a test to get them to recognize new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

“We’re extremely excited by this innovation of treating Alzheimer’s without using drug therapeutics,” said team member Jurgen Gotz. “The word ‘breakthrough’ is often misused, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach.”

At UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the findings could have a wide impact for the community.

“The Government’s $9 million investment into this technology was to drive discoveries into clinics, and today’s announcement indicates that together with the Queensland Brain Institute, it was a worthwhile investment,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We’re also working on seeing whether this method clears toxic protein aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases other than Alzheimer’s and whether this also restores executive functions, including decision-making and motor control.”

Of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.2 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).

Sources:
sciencemag.org
uq.edu.au
sciencealert.com

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