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Could a Vaccine be the Key to Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Research for Alzheimer's Prevention

Scientists have been searching for decades to find clues to unlocking the mystery surrounding Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment.  Is it possible that the key to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an Alzheimer’s prevention vaccine?  

One study conducted by James Nicoll, professor of neuropathology at Southampton University, in the U.K., concluded that a vaccine might be able to initiate the immune system into removing amyloid beta protein (also called plaques) in the brain.  Amyloid is an abnormal sticky protein substance that typically accumulates in the brain as a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  These plaques interfere with normal transmission of nerve cells in the brain, and serve as a  primary cause of memory loss in AD. 

Nicoll commented that while the vaccine stopped the production of amyloid in the brain (during the study), he was amazed to discover that the symptoms of cognitive decline,  and eventually the rate of early death, was NOT slowed down by the vaccine.

Alzheimer’s Prevention Theory

One theory resulting from Nicoll’s research is the possibility that if people could be given the vaccine before symptoms of AD became severe (no later than age 50), the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s could possibly be prevented.   

Alzheimer’s Prevention and Mouse Studies

Based on successful results from immunization in mouse AD models (in past clinical studies), more recent studies were implemented using active and passive immunizations.  But active immunization in humans resulted in an autoimmune inflammatory response, so those trials were stopped.   

Passive immunity, however has showed much more promise in slowing down the Alzheimer’s disease process in clinical studies. More recently, a study published in 2017 by PubMed.gov (The U.S. National Library of Medicine) from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, looked at aged rabbits to observe the effect of a DNA Vaccine.

These immunizations were administered to rabbits using a gene gun (a biolistic particle delivery system) into the skin and the results were, absence of  inflammatory immune response.  Although positive effects on pathology of AD in the brain were seen in rabbit studies, these benefits have not yet been observed in humans.  However, based on the results of the test on rodents, some studies indicate immunization has a high likeliness of being safe and effective in future clinical Alzheimer’s prevention trials on humans.  

Alzheimer’s Prevention and the Immune System

In an article published by the journal of Science Translated Medicine, the function of plaques in the disease process is not clear. Rudolph Tanzi of Harvard Medical School asked the question, “does it play a role in the brain, or is it just garbage that accumulates?”  But recently Tanzi has shown that these plaques may be a defense against invading pathogens.  Tanzi’s research team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, found that beta-amyloid may comprise part of the immune system, acting as an anti-microbial compound.  This theory certainly makes sense considering the positive results that previous studies have realized when it comes the impact of the vaccine on beta-amyloid.

To test the relationship between AD and the immune system the research team injected bacteria into the brains of mice AD models. The study indicated that plaques formed overnight.   “When you look in the plaques, each one had a single bacterium in it,” says Tanzi. “A single bacterium can induce an entire plaque overnight.”

Study Conclusions

The study concluded that there is a possibility that infections in the brain could trigger amyloid-beta plaque formation, as the sticky substance attempts to kill bacteria and other pathogens.  Then if amyloid does not get removed by the body quickly enough, the result may be tau tangles (another abnormal protein in the brain, common in AD) which leads to death to the nerve cells,  and ultimately comprises symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 

The good news is that if AD, in fact, stems from pathogens in the brain, a vaccine may be possible in the future. 

Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease in the ground-breaking book written by Dr. Richard Isaacson, Harvard trained neurologist.  The book is called The Alzheimer’s Treatment and  Prevention Diet, you can CLICK HERE to read more about it.  

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Home Cooked Meals: A Primary Ingredient for The Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Friday, February 17th, 2017

home cooking for the Alzheimer's diet

 

If you or a loved are eating the Alzheimer’s diet, you may be interested to learn about a recent study on home cooked meals.  The study, published by John Hopkins School of Public Health, (online in the journal Public Health Nutrition) says people who cook at home, may be getting many health benefits compared to those who eat out.  In fact, the study found those who make more home cooked meals are consuming less calories than others who don’t cook as often.  Find out about the conclusions of this study  and  how home cooking can enhance and support the Alzheimer’s diet.

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The ABC’s of Fiber for the Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Thursday, February 9th, 2017

fiber for the Alzheimer's diet

Fiber is a vital nutrient for disease prevention and overall health, it also carries a lot of weight when considering some of the best  foods for the Alzheimer’s diet.

In today’s hectic world of rushing from place to place, it can be a real challenge to get enough fiber intake  each day.  You may be surprised to learn that the recommended daily intake of fiber is around 25 to 30 grams.  The fiber should be from a variety of food sources (not from supplements).  This recommendation comes from the American Heart Association.  Most Americans get only about half that amount each day.  So, what’s so great about fiber, and how can you ensure you are getting the right amount for a healthy Alzheimer’s diet?  

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The Link Between Alzheimer’s Prevention and Type II Diabetes

Posted by on Sunday, February 5th, 2017

 diabetes and lzheimer's prevention

Research studies indicate there may be  a close relationship between several disease entities and Alzheimer’s disease, in fact, Alzheimer’s prevention measures should encompass prevention strategies of other disorders including, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and particularly Type 2 diabetes (referred to as T2B in the research arena).  The incidence of T2B has risen so dramatically in recent years that it’s become known as a new global epidemic. Learning about the risks for diabetes is part of an effective Alzheimer’s prevention/education strategy. But what does diabetes have to do with Alzheimer’s prevention?

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