Monday, October 28, 2013

Ultrasound Thalamotomy Treatment For Essential Tremor

  From the U of VirginiaCOM 15 study patients with essential tremor were treated with MRI-guided focused high-intensity ultrasound waves (sonification) to ablate the ventral us intermedius nucleus of the thalamus. Significant improvement was seen in all patients that were heretofore unresponsive to drug treatment (typically 50% of patients with ET which is inherited).
  The down side: this treatment, unlike deep brain stimulation, is irreversible and therefore adverse events are permanent including four patients in this study that suffered persistent paresthesias.
  The up side: US thalamotomy may be applicable to other disorders : brain tumors, other movement disorders, epilepsy and central pain disorders.
NEJM 2013;369:640-648
Lancet Neurology 2013;12(5):462-468

Monday, October 21, 2013

Copper - A Suggested Relationship to Alzheimer's Disease

  From researchers at the U of Rochester, when studying aging mice that were fed drinking water (with only low levels of copper) found a four fold increase in copper in brain capillaries and a two-fold decrease in in LRP1 (lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1). LRP1 facilitates the transport of amyloid beta across the blood-brain barrier and into the bloodstream for removal. If the level of LRP1 is reduced then Abeta transport is reduced and its accumulation results in the production of plaques and deposits seen in the brains of patients with AD.
  It might be that as we get older our brains may be more sensitive to to copper in our diet and water.
  Because copper is a vital nutrient to cell function altering it will be a complicated task. Currently there is a study in phase II trials employing PBT2 , a chaperone molecule to escort copper from the brain.
  The fact that copper prevents the pleating of amyloid-beta has been known for many years. But in the lab, at least, copper decelerates the deposition of amyloid- beta in plaques.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2013;E-pub2013 aug 19

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Breastfeed and Reduced Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

  From the UK, women that breastfed had a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease than those that did not.
  Breastfeeding is an important modifier of cumulative endogenous hormone exposure for mothers.
Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease 2013 July 23

Cancer vs Alzheimer's Disease

  The risk of cancer in alzheimer's patients is reduced by 50%.
  The risk of Alzheimer's in patients with cancer is reduced by 35%.
Neurology 2013 July 10

Trisomy 21 Chromosome Inactivated in Cells of Human Down Syndrome and its AD Implications

  From researchers at U os Mass, the extra 21st chromosome in human cells of Down syndrome was made inactive.
  Clinical trials are now underway whose goal is to improve cognition in those with Down syndrome.
  Of importance is the fact that the gene that codes for amyloid-beta peptide (which accumulates in excess in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease) is located on the 21st chromosome. Those with Down syndrome produce 50 % more of this protein and are at great risk for developing Alzheimer's disease by their early 40's.
  Regarding technique, researchers employed the RNA gene that normally inactivates one of a female's X chromosomes called XIST. The team employed zinc finger nuclease technology (a method of editing the genome) to place it into one copy of the 21st chromosome. The receiving chromosome was in an induced pluripotent stem cell derived from fibroblast cells from a patient with Down syndrome.
Nature 2013;E-pub 2013 July 17