Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cotinine for Alzheimer's Treatment

A compound derived from tobacco, cotinine, reduced beta-amyloid plaque aggregation in the brain's of mice with the Alzheimer's disease model. The treated mice also performed better on tasks measuring working memory.
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease online Feb 14 2011

Intractable Pain Treatment

Investigators conducted a phase 1 trial of intradermal NP2, a novel gene transfer vector, which was found to be safe and well tolerated for the treatment of intractable pain resulting in pain relief in cancer patients who were unresponsive to morphine or other treatments.
Annals of Neurology online April 2011

Drosophila Model for Alzheimer's Disease

Joshua Shulman,MD,PhD , instructor of neurology at Harvard medical school used the drosophila model for Alzheimer's disease to determine how variants function. The drosophila tauopathy model, which exhibits age-dependent neurodegeneration, decreased lifespan and hyperphophorylated and misfiled tau protein. The model is used to functionally screen candidate genes in AD which may lead to sooner treatment options for afflicted patients.
Arch Neurol 2011; E-Pub Sept 12 2011

Low Vitamin D and Sleepiness/Muscle Pain

Osteomalacic myopathy (diffuse muscle pain) can interfere with sleep quality and contribute to daytime drowsiness. Patients found to have 25-OH vitamin D < 30 ng/mL were treated. 81 0f 153 patients responded positively to vitamin D3 replacement.
J Clin Sleep Med, 2010; 6 (6): 605-608
Med Hypotheses. 2011 ; 76 (2) :208-213

ALS/FTD Major New Gene Discovery

The gene , called chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72), contributes to 40% of familial (inherited) and 7-10% of sporadic (non-inherited) ALS and is linked to a seemingly unrelated neurodegenerative disorder (but known to be associated with ALS) Frontotemporal Degeneration (dementia).The function of the gene is as yet unknown. This mutant gene causes a toxic build-up of RNA .
C9ORF72 can be traced back to a "founder" person in Scandinavia 1500 years ago! This discovery prompts investigators to question whether there is actually a "sporadic" form of ALS, given that careful investigation of such patients may in fact reveal a relative with FTD.
NEURON 2011; E-pub Sept 21 2011