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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

THE TRAGEDY OF ALZHEIMER'S

The headline article this morning in the Star Advertiser was:

     Hawaii the best in nation

We are #1 in having the best nursing home care, with both Arcadia and 15 Craigside among those earning five stars, the  highest you can get.  I wonder what happened to Kahala Nui and One Kalakaua?

So for the next few days I'll focus on health and nutrition, updating my Chapter 2 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity on Eternal Life, which was reinforced in my posting of February 5, pointing out that scientists are getting close to finding the cure for aging.  In this upcoming series, I'll particularly focus on whether sugars will become the next tobacco, and the latest TRUTH about cholesterol.  Yes, the medical profession is again reversing courses.

Today, however, I'll take a closer look at Alzheimer's Disease.  I've, of course, been writing about this tragedy for some time.  Here is a quick summary and a shocking revelation that seafood could well induce dementia because of a natural chemical called BMAA.  

I recently saw Still Alice, a film starring Julianne Moore, who won an Oscar for Best Actress Sunday night.  Playing a brilliant Columbia University linguistics professor, afflicted with early onset Alzheimer's (EOA) in her 50's, a few interesting points might worry you.   There are many forms of this illness, and only 5%-15% of patients contract this ailment so early in life.  While most are already retired, EOA means you will retire early and 50% of your children will also be so affected.

While I had suspected so, because at 15 Craigside, it is the husband that seems to care for the wife with Alzheimer's.  Although the ratio must be 6:1 here, studies indicate that women are only twice as likely to contract this sickness.  To quote:

There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, including 3.2 million women and 200,000 people under the age of 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer's disease, but Alzheimer's has far reaching effects that can plague entire families. There are currently 15.5 million caregivers providing 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care in the U.S., often at the detriment of their own health. The physical and emotional impact of dementia caregiving resulted in an estimated $9.3 billion in increased healthcare costs for Alzheimer's caregivers in 2013.

Late last year I saw a headline:


A drug has been found to reverse memory decline.  Then just this week, Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto used magnetic resonance imaging-guided focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier using micro bubbles, allowing drugs to be delivered to breakdown the amyloid plaques causing this ailment.  Again, though, only mice have been treated, so don't expect a sure cure anytime soon.

Further, the Stanford study might have been misinterpreted by the media.  It is reported that 73 Alzheimer's drugs are in development, but 101 aimed at treating the disease have already failed.  To indicate the research activity level, for every one that reaches any stage of being tested, 34 did not even get that far.  A few years ago Flurizan was discarded following Phase III clinical trials on 1,687 patients after an expenditure of $200 million.  The left graphic, however, argues for the application of a lot more funds in consideration of the actual cost of the ailment.  Actually, the Alzheimer's Association says that the cost in 2014 was $214 billion:


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15 to 18,225, breaking the all-time high record of yesterday.

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Tropical Cyclone Glenda is on the verge of attaining hurricane strength, and is expected to attain Category 2 force, but the current path towards Mauritius and Le Reunion is expected to veer south, than east:


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