Sep 082010
 

Dear Readers, As readers of this blog will recall, years of research have revealed that ß-amyloid is produced by the cleavage of a very large protein found throughout the body called amyloid precursor protein, or APP, by the enzyme gamma-secretase. An obvious ‘target’ for pharmaceutical intervention would be the development of gamma-secretase inhibitors: Blocking cleavage of APP by gamma-secretase to form amyloid-ß would prevent this abnormal accumulation in the brain, and prevent ß-amyloid from exerting [...]

Aug 182010
 
What Does the Cessation of the Lilly Semagacestat Study Mean?

Readers, Eli Lilly and Company announced yesterday that it is halting development of semagacestat, a gamma-secretase inhibitor being studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The decision was made after preliminary results from two separate phase 3 studies showed that the drug did not slow disease progression and worsened cognition and the ability to perform activities of daily living. In the 2 trials, called IDENTITY (Interrupting Alzheimer’s Dementia by EvaluatiNg Treatment of AmyloId PaThologY) [...]

Jul 212010
 

Readers, Another important finding from the ICAD meeting last week revolves around the relationship between cognitive decline and vitamin D. Several high-profile studies have suggested that high levels of vitamin D lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis and accumulating evidence suggests previously unsuspected roles for vitamin D in brain development and neuroprotection. Now, a new study shows that low Vitamin D levels may be related to cognitive decline and dementia. Researchers have in fact [...]

Jul 142010
 

This week, nearly 4,000 scientists from around the world gathered to report and discuss the latest advances in research on treatments, risk factors, and diagnosis for the health epidemic of the 21st century – Alzheimer’s disease – at the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2010 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (AAICAD 2010) in Honolulu. “With an aging baby boomer generation, the Alzheimer’s disease crisis will continue to touch more lives and create an unsustainable fiscal toll on the [...]

Jun 302010
 

As readers of this blog are probably aware, the prevailing theory of AD is that amyloid precursor protein is somehow aberrantly cleaved as it is secreted by neurons, and leads to the formation of beta-amyloid. Beta amyloid is a toxic “oligomer” or protein fragment that becomes improperly folded, and deposits into plaques. It is believed that the small oligomers of beta amyloid are more toxic than their larger aggregated counterparts (i.e.,amyloid fibrils), and in fact, [...]

Apr 192010
 

Readers, As promised, I want to share some findings presented at the Annual American Academy of Neurology meeting held last week in Toronto, Canada. The is the major meeting for clinical neurologists in this country; it is huge and hectic. And while in recent years there has been a tendency for new data related to Alzheimer’s disease to be presented at conferences devoted entirely to AD (eg, the International Confernece on Alzheimer’s Disease, ICAD), there [...]

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