Bring It On!

Don’t Let Us Get Stupid, Alright?

June 24th, 2008 | by Jet Netwal |

There are lots of ways to die. I can think of several I hope aren’t my ticket punching scenario. Beyond murder and bone cancer, Alzheimer’s is one of the most insidious of the Reaper’s cards, because it steals you long before it takes your carrying case.

I love my brain; I think most people feel the same way about theirs. A favorite song of mine is one by Warren Zevon, with these lines:

Don’t let us get sick, don’t let us get old. Don’t let us get stupid, alright?
Just make us be brave, and make us play nice, and let us be together, tonight.

Amen, Warren. You definitely died too young.

There’s good news, though. Research into Alzheimer’s got an uptick this week. Studies into plaque made up of beta-amyloid which is a sticky protein found frequently in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have narrowed the culprit. There are apparently three types of beta-amyloids, and researchers found one of the three caused memory loss (especially short term memory loss) in rats when injected into them. This helps explain why some people with brains loaded with plaque don’t get Alzheimer’s and some do. It’s nature’s three card monty with the human brain.

Forms of soluble beta-amyloid containing different numbers of molecules, as well as insoluble cores of the brain plaque, were injected into the brains of mice. There was no detectable effect from the insoluble plaque or the soluble one-molecule or three-molecule forms, the researchers found.

But the two-molecule form of soluble beta-amyloid produced characteristics of Alzheimer’s in the rats, they reported.

Those rats had impaired memory function, especially for newly learned behaviors. Studies were also done on mice and when their brains were inspected, the density brain cells were reduced by 47 percent. The beta-amyloid seemed to affect synapses, the connections between cells that are essential for communication between them. - AP (65 words - Have your lawyers call Kos’s lawyers)

That’s the plaque, Jack!

This is not a cure, but another step in defining the enemy. At some point we can vanquish this horrible disease and give each of us an old age we can remember. Now, if we can just figure out those wacky cancer cells, and stop killing each other…

That last one is going to be tricky.

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  1. One Response to “Don’t Let Us Get Stupid, Alright?”

  2. By Paul Merda on Jun 24, 2008 | Reply

    That’s great news. The fact that they have isolated the main cause of loss of brain function is immensley helpful when trying to find a cure!

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