AboutAlz.com Ends Regular Run

It’s been three years since I began this blog. I started it as a way to seek answers for myself. The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia is staggering and the projected numbers are mind-boggling. Each year we are hopeful for the one miracle drug that will cure AD, but we have not reached our goal.

The untold number of hours that caregivers spend caring for their loved ones cannot be measured. It indeed takes a huge toll on their physical and mental health as well as their financial burden.

When I look at the visitor statistics for this blog, I know that other people are looking for answers as well. Although I am encouraged by the numbers to continue this blog, my situation has changed and I have accepted another challenge which requires that I devote some time to achieve success. I may return to writing this blog in the future, but I hope that it will not be necessary as we will have solved the problem and eliminated Alzheimer’s disease.

If I can summarize what we can all do at this point, it’s everything you would do to keep your immune system healthy such as:

  • Get adequate sleep every night.
  • Take enough Omega 3 and other necessary supplements. (Check with your health care provider).
  • Exercise as vigorously as you can.
  • Find enjoyment in life. Do things that you really love to do. Just because it’s been said that crossword puzzles are good for the brain, if you don’t enjoy it, why are you engaging in it?
  • Be grateful no matter what situation you are in. There’s a lesson to be learned in everything.

The Alzheimer’s organization is one source that has been very helpful in keeping us posted with the latest news and there are other sources that I’ve mention in this blog as well. Do check its Web site periodically. As I say good-bye for now, I thank you for your support.

UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center

As stated in the previous post, today there are no reliable tests to determine conclusively if a person has Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, there are several breakthrough tests on the horizon that have us hopeful that soon we may have an accurate test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. In the last post, I covered what’s happening at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) at West Virginia University and Inverness Medical Innovations. In this post I will report on the breakthrough test for Alzheimer’s disease at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

At UCLA, researchers have developed a blood test that would measure the amount of amyloid beta that is being absorbed by immune cells in the blood. If the immune system isn’t adequately clearing amyloid beta, it may indicate Alzheimer’s risk. According to Gen News, the UCLA scientists took blood samples and isolated monocytes including amyloid beta. The monocytes were incubated overnight with amyloid beta, which was labeled with a fluorescent marker. Using flow cytometry, the investigators then measured the amount of amyloid beta ingested by the immune cells.

The 18 Alzheimer’s disease patients in the study showed the least uptake of amyloid beta. The healthy control group, which consisted of 14 university professors, had the highest uptake.

The method was able to distinguish the Alzheimer’s disease patients with adequate sensitivity and specificity and the results were found to be positive in 94% of patients and negative for the entire control group. Additionally, the data was positive in 60% of participants who suffered from mild cognitive impairment.

Milan Fiala, M.D., is the lead author of the UCLA study, which appeared in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

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