Hope for Alzheimer’s

I don’t very often feature news in this blog, but this one is feature-worthy.

I woke up to the best news this week:  Scientists reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s.

As someone who has a family background of this illness, this is probably one of the better news ever.  I am now itching to look up and read what they did with their gene therapy experiment.  I am just overjoyed.

I hope this paves the way for the development of a drug or a cure to Alzheimer’s.  As much as I agree that pictures last longer, memories mean more.  And this is just… amazing.

Thank you for the good news, AFP and Rappler!

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Scientists reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s

The gene therapy study is hoped to lead to the development of new drugs to treat the incurable disease
Agence France-Presse
Published 11:11 AM, Apr 24, 2014 | Updated 11:11 AM, Apr 24, 2014

GENE THERAPY. Spanish scientists injected a gene which causes the production of a protein that is blocked in patients with Alzheimer’s, into the hippocampus in mice that were in the initial stages of the disease.

GENE THERAPY. Spanish scientists injected a gene which causes the production of a protein that is blocked in patients with Alzheimer’s, into the hippocampus in mice that were in the initial stages of the disease.

MADRID, Spain – Spanish scientists have for the first time used gene therapy to reverse memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s, an advance that could lead to new drugs to treat the disease, they said Wednesday, April 23.

The Autonomous University of Barcelona team injected a gene which causes the production of a protein that is blocked in patients with Alzheimer’s into the hippocampus – a region of the brian essential to memory processing – in mice that were in the initial stages of the disease.

“The protein that was reinstated by the gene therapy triggers the signals needed to activate the genes involved in long-term memory consolidation,” the university said in a statement.

Gene therapy involves transplanting genes into a patient’s cells to correct an otherwise incurable disease caused by a failure of one or another gene.

The finding was published in The Journal of Neuroscience and it follows 4 years of research.

“The hope is that this study could lead to the development of pharmaceutical drugs that can activate these genes in humans and allow for the recovery of memory,” the head of the research team, Carlos Saura, told Agence France-Presse.

Alzheimer’s, caused by toxic proteins that destroy brain cells, is the most common form of dementia.

Worldwide, 35.6 million people suffer from the fatal degenerative disease, which is currently incurable, and there are 7.7 million new cases every year, according to a 2012 report from the World Health Organization.

In 2010 the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be $604 billion, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International, a federation of Alzheimer associations around the world. – Rappler.com

Mouse image from Shutterstock

On Topamax, yet again

 

On Monday, I will have my very first MRI.  I am petrified.

 

 

Being a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I am familiar of how MRIs work.  They scan people with this magnetic tube, whose results are often more detailed and more efficient than that of a CT scan.  MRI films are often more morbid than CT scans’.  That is why I am petrified. 

 

Or maybe it is just because I am watching too much TV drama.

 

***

 

Dylan started opening his books and reviewing for his nursing board exams this coming June.  I hope he gets to be this batch’s topnotch student.  I don’t know; I guess I just believe that he can do it.  He has the willpower to do so.  He just has to lessen his distractions (a.k.a. me). 

 

Admittedly, I am a primary burden.  This sickness thing is already bothering him.  He doesn’t say much about it.  I guess he doesn’t want me to feel bad for making him worry that much.  But I know that his worrying is taking up too much time.  As of the moment, time is a luxury we both cannot afford.

 

He has a lot to make up for.  Lola Linda is his primary concern right now, since she’s the one who supported him through his last semester of school.  He wants to give her everything she could ever want to make up for what she has given him.  Personally, I think that is quite a tall order, considering the fact that it will take a pretty long time before he will get to that point, but I would be more than happy to support his decision.  After all, he too supported me.

 

I love him to pieces.  And I would be the happiest person alive to see him become the person he has always dreamt himself to be.

 

***

 

Weekends are a bummer eh?  Well, at least for someone like me who doesn’t go to school or work, weekends are bummers.  These are just another couple of days with nothing left to do.  So I got to watch a handful of movies today.  Somehow television networks have nothing to do with weekends so they just fill their slots with movies as well.

 

I got to watch Gladiator, Enemy of the State, Christmas with the Kranks, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Fifty First Dates, Cinderella Man, and Rocky.  I told you it was a handful.

 

It kind of reminded me of my dream of becoming a part of the film industry and the fact that I never really made it come true.

 

I think I remember someone telling me that I will never make it in that industry unless I know someone in it.  Well, I got to know someone in when my friends and I were working on our undergraduate thesis but somehow, I never really pursued it.  Does it mean I didn’t really want to be in it?

 

Hmmm…

 

The thing is I do want to be in it.  I want to be the type of person who always has the one-liner, the one who invents the you-had-me-at-hello you-complete-me seriously?-seriously! lines in the television show and in the movie.  I want to be that person, even if my lines are associated by the actor who said it and not by my name.  I want to be in it.

 

So how come I am not making a move?

 

Something is really wrong with me.

 

 

***

 

So, Rocky in Studio 23 just finished.  Dylan just said good night.  I better head off to sleep as well.

 

Good night.