Saturday, May 04, 2013

An Alzheimer's cure?

Millions of dollars are being poured into fighting Alzheimer's, but the cure could be a step nearer

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is fast emerging as one of the most menacing threats to the human race in the coming years.

By 2050, people of 60 years or more will account for around 22% of the world’s population. As per Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), an international association to fight AD, around 35.6 million people are affected by the disease. Furthermore, some 7.7 million cases are added each year. At the current pace, the number will double every 20 years. Around 58% of AD patients are in the developing countries, and the ratio is expected to reach 71% by 2050. AD is the sixth leading cause of death in the US today and around 5.4 million Americans have AD. The total cost to fight AD in America is $200 billion to date, and the total cost to the world is $604 billion. The US FDA has approved six drugs to cure AD. But surprisingly, a drug called LMTX, by a Singapore based biotech firm, could be the best bet. The claim by the firm is that the drug can even reverse the effects of AD – by attacking tau and amyloid deposits, two proteins that cause brain plaques.

But all these medicines may well be reducing the smoke than putting out the fire. Professor Ruth Itzhaki from the University of Manchester in an exemplary medical research proved that the Herpes Simplex Virus – which causes normal skin rash in almost 90% of the population – was found located right within the protein plaques of 90% of AD patients.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2013.
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri
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