Happy New Year! Stanford May Have Just Cured Alzheimer’s

Happy New Year! Stanford May Have Just Cured Alzheimer’s

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If indeed Stanford University researchers have discovered an Alzheimer’s cure, 2015 may be as great a year as 1915 was a catastrophe.

It turns out that solving one of man’s worst nightmares may be a simple matter of boosting the immune system. The Telegraph reports:

Researchers discovered that nerve cells die because cells which are supposed to clear the brain of bacteria, viruses and dangerous deposits, stop working.

These cells, called ‘microglia’ function well when people are young, but when they age, a single protein called EP2 stops them operating efficiently.

Now scientists have shown that blocking the protein allows the microglia to function normally again so they can hoover up the dangerous sticky amyloid-beta plaques which damage nerve cells in Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that, in mice, blocking EP2 with a drug reversed memory loss and myriad other Alzheimer’s-like features in the animals.

One other interesting possibility. The researchers genetically engineered some mice not to have EP2 at all. In those mice, they were unable to induce dementia, suggesting an even more advanced cure down the line.

Alzheimer’s is America’s sixth leading cause of death. 36 million people have Alzheimer’s worldwide, and only 1-in-4 have been diagnosed. 1-in-9 Americans over 65 have it, and 1-in-3 Americans over 85. 2-in-3 Alzheimer’s patients are women, and the disease is twice as likely in blacks and Hispanics. The human cost is incalculable; the financial cost is pretty staggering too, at over $220 billion annually in the United States alone.

And this year, or as soon as the FDA will allow your grandmother to get help anyway, all of that may just go away.

Happy New Year!

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  1. i found this on facebook and just wanted to say : this is a very to the point article, refreshing this days , well done Rod D. Martin !

  2. I’ll point to the obvious problem this story doesn’t make clear; it can be summed up in one number – $220 billion. That’s $220 billion US dollars big businesses are going to lose out on if this drug proves beneficial.

    Did you realize an alternative to chemotherapy that’s been shown to cure the root cause of some cancers is mega-doses of vitamin C (100,000+ mgs)? Of course not, because Pharma companies don’t want to sell you a cheap vitamin that can cure a disease, if they can sell you an expensive drug that can only treat the disease.

    History has already proven there’s no hope this drug will ever be passed, especially if it works. If anything, be prepared for watered-down, marginally beneficial treatments over an actual cure. Thank you Capitalism!

    • You seem to misunderstand the statement. $220 billion is the cost to the American economy, not the price of current treatment. That means that those evil businesses you’re talking about are losing that much. Hence, your thesis is kind of nonsense. However much I like the movie, the world is not Total Recall.

      In any case, by your theory Polio would never have been cured, and life expectancy would not have doubled in the past century, and antibiotics would not have been invented, and so forth. You are confusing capitalism with feudalism, socialism, and all the other philosophies in which someone claims to “protect” us (one of which gives you an FDA which is the actual bottleneck for virtually all new drugs). Capitalism functions by creating new solutions, not by forcing people into old ones. That’s why competition matters, and why you are reading this blog (probably on a smartphone) instead of a newspaper or a cuneiform tablet.

  3. I am so hopeful. May this new finding let Great Minds like Ronald Regan, George Bush, Sr. not get to a point where communication, cognitive thinking & memory are lost. Let these smart people continue to grow, contribute to this world & not pass away! I hate to see anyone have this disease. This is promising…Let the Clinical Trials Begin…We are loosing great people that succumb to Alzheimer’s! Go #Standford!

    • This is truly GREAT news, but your statement about great minds is laughable. Reagan was known to be of below average intelligence and just a charismatic actor. It is historical fact he was hand fed everything.

      Nixon referred to him as a “man of limited mental capacity” and Kissinger also said, Well, his brains, are negligible.

      • It is a historical fact that Reagan wrote nearly all his own stuff. I have seen these papers, volumes and volumes of sophisticated policy writing for decades before he became President. Your ignorance of that is only matched by your suggestion that Richard Nixon, who threw away a 49-state win and was forced to resign in disgrace because he thought it necessary to rob the campaign offices of George McGovern, was qualified to judge a rival’s intelligence.

    • If you are talking about Ronald Reagan (the President), I do hope you know that he passed away already…

    • This is a huge breakthrough, but to say that Stanford cured Alzheimer’s is a stretch.
      Perhaps we can say that they identified the signaling mechanism in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s…. which is a BIG deal.

      What the researchers did was to provide strong evidence that Alzheimer’s is due to the activity of a protein molecule called EP2. So, if you can block EP2 activity, you ought to be able to prevent Alzheimer’s.

      – The study was conducted with mice, not humans
      – The study targeted EP2 in cells called “macrophages”, because they are easy to harvest in the lab. Macrophages are similar to, but are NOT the “microglia” cells that a drug would need to target.
      – A cure would need to figure out the drug mechanism to target EP2 in human microglia
      – Due to FDA approval process, any cure is likely years away…. 8? 10? 15?

      The blogosphere was abuzz with this discussion of a cure when this came out. If you read Stanford’s own report, it is much more muted.

      Lorenzo Mejia
      Stanford MBA
      Qualified Dementia Care Specialist
      2014 Dementia Care Professional of the Year, Alzheimer’s Foundation

      • I don’t think anyone — neither the Telegraph nor myself — said this is a cure. While I have no argument with your statements, I do quibble somewhat with the philosophy back of them. It is as though someone had sent, let’s say, tens of thousands of “advisors” (ground troops) to Vietnam over a period of several years, a newspaper said “there may be a war coming,” and you said “there are no facts to prove that!” Well, no, there aren’t, but it’s probably worth paying attention to.

  4. The news maches (and might soon explain:) perfectly to the success of “Hippocrates Health Institute Florida” in improving Alzheimer symptoms in low a n d medium levels down close to normal or to all normal – o n l y by detoxing and radical:/ changes of diet into raw-vegan without any sugar/fruitsugars – it changes immunesystem, it doesn’t leave too much garbage to digest and so on.
    I found this always quite remarkable and Dr. Brian Clement is a statistic freak – so they collect their datas now for quite a while:). Some people who apply it i met personally. Incredible successes. Not only cancer but a lot of heaviest chronic stuff, related with pains, inflammations, death..
    Until the pill for supporting the brain-garbage-detoxing-protein is standard (like our regular meat,fat,sugar-diet:), raw-green and HHI-Programm maybe helpful for self-help for those, who are genetically or other reasons in danger, or already trapped.
    Don’t debate it to much in pro and cons etc. Waisting just time.
    Since such stuff is simply a matter of empiristic – so just t r y it for 3 months as pure as possible for you and see what changes:) (Already then:).

    Thanks for posting the Alz-Update!
    Best wishes, ow.

  5. as a 65 year old with rampant Alzheimer’s on both sides of my family – which killed both my parents – and tested and showing signs myself – this would be fantastic news if and only if it turns out to be true… I have had too many false promises already in the past to take any stock in anything until and unless it is much much further along than this… but I am truly an optimist/realist.

  6. Sounds promising. However it is in mice and they are not human and these kind of studies could take 10 years to determine. But we do need at least an effective treatment now!!! And of course a cure.

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about it taking 10 years. Remember how 10 years ago (and 10 years before that) the Democrats were telling us how there was no benefit to drilling for more oil because it would take 10 years for any of it to come online (a ludicrous statement, but still)? Well, here we are 10 years later (and 20 years later, depending on the Democrat speaking), and we still need oil. We’ll need that Alzheimer’s treatment/cure in 10 years too.

      • True that!

        • Wrong string Rod. This is a medical site, not a partisan political site. If anything, republicans have done everything possible to block even the most basic medical care for millions of Americans.

      • Don’t worry, if you live another ten years without shooting yourself, we’ll have a cure for you. Palin ’08!

      • What are you taking about? The US is set to become the biggest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are pushing up production not to lose market share. Regardless of your politics, it is undeniable that the shale and fracking revolution has been a success.

        • You clearly did not understand my point at all. I was talking about the coming technological revolution that we now call fracking long before it began (a good example is a post you can find on this site called “Oil is Well” from 2006). My point is that we should not be upset that something takes 10 years (or whatever number of years) to get from concept to reality, because 10 years comes and goes in the blink of an eye. And I directed that thought at the Democrats’ long-term mantra opposing drilling over the past several decades (“you can’t drill your way to lower oil prices” and “there’s no point in drilling in such-and-such-location because it would take 10 years for that oil to come online”). They were saying that 10 years ago, and 20 years ago. And we still need oil. And we did in fact drill our way to near energy independence and to lower oil prices. We will research our way to an Alzheimer’s cure as well.

          • I believe I understood what you said ,i get the same response from my many post ,they don’t understand sarcasm, and i love it went right over there head. any way the point i was going to bring up was as you mentioned the oil dilemma in 09/19/09 transcanada makes the keystone xl pipeline proposal and as of today we still don’t have a resolution with a pous ready to use his veto pen before the votes are cast.I must admit his transparency promise sees the light, like you said we need oil today and tomorrow. 7 years and there debating it , i didn’t want this to consume my main point it has to do with the 220 billion $ price tag of oldtimers wow theirs a lot of room for corruption in those numbers,and why are these affections so prevalent in this highly advanced knowledge we claim to have if we were to step back 10,20,40,60 years ago the lack of knowledge that wasn’t there because it wasn’t need for many of these problems because there wasn’t one,we continue to make a new pill for everything that ales us , I think if we just had a better heather food free from pesticides and what other garbage they put in it to kill us off slowly we could throw all of our pills away and truly get on with living life instead of trying to live,with that said I was trying to remember were I parked my car any one see a black suv Washington plates,and GO SEAHAWKS………

        • If that is true, then why is it that fracking costs more than the value it produces?

          • Hard to understand your question. Fracking is, like everything else in life, profitable as long as the price of what it produces is higher than the costs of its production. Most investors believe fracking (for oil at least) to be profitable when oil is above $50 a barrel. Why do you not?

  7. I’m reasonably certain that the Stanford guys aren’t selling snake oil. But the number of “supplement” producers who will latch onto this is likely to approach infinity.

  8. I pray this is a true story and that this will get fast-tracked through the FDA. Also I hope that the snake-oil dealers don’t try to fool people into a vitamin that does nothing.

  9. Please let this be true! Please let this get approved ASAP!

  10. If it’s a matter of boosting the immune system, why wouldn’t a good supplement be found to be the answer as opposed to another high priced drug?


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