Stiffening of the arteries appears to be associated with the progressive buildup of β-amyloid (Αβ) plaque in the brains of elderly patients without dementia, suggesting a relationship between the severity of vascular disease and the plaque that is a hallmark of Alzheimer disease.
Timothy M. Hughes, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues.
Evidence suggested arterial stiffness is related to brain aging, cerebrovascular disease, impaired cognitive function and dementia in the elderly.
Chicago – The use of the medication citalopram was associated with a reduction in agitation in patients with Alzheimer disease, although at the dosage used in the study, patients experienced mild cognitive and cardiac adverse effects that might limit the practical application of this medication at the dosage of 30 mg per day, according to a study in the February 19 issue of JAMA.
Agitation, which is common in patients with Alzheimer disease, is persistent, difficult to treat, costly, and associated with severe adverse consequences for patients and caregivers. Pharmacologic therapies have proven inadequate and antipsychotic drugs continue to be widely used for this condition despite serious safety concerns, including increased risk of death, and uncertain efficacy, according to background information in the article. Citalopram, an antidepressant drug frequently used in older individuals, has been proposed as an alternative to antipsychotic drugs for agitation and aggression in dementia, yet there is limited evidence for its efficacy and safety.
An increased risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) appears to be associated with elevated blood levels of a byproduct of the pesticide DDT, which was banned in the United States in 1972 but is still used for agriculture in other countries, according to a study by Jason R. Richardson, Ph.D., of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, N.J., and colleagues.
In case of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), you may start your work from the study of synapses – gaps between the nerve ends – as synaptic dysfunctions are considered as most important disorders in these diseases.
Although a great deal of work has been done on neurodegenerative diseases but they still lack fully potential “disease-modifying therapies”. Disease-modifying therapy (cures the disease as opposed to the cure of only symptoms in symptomatic treatment) may start from ‘toxin-reducing’ approach.
One of the reasons of the lack of better disease-modifying drugs is incomplete understanding of mechanisms underlying the neurodegenerative diseases. Several mechanisms/pathways have been proposed such as “accumulation of neurotoxic substances, inflammation, lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, autophagy, protein degradation and mitochondrial dysfunction” but no drug is still pointing to all these mechanisms.
For the development of potential drugs against AD, better animal models have to be developed. Not only animal models but also significant biomarkers are not present for identification of AD. Presence of biomarkers could help us to understand that how early we have to start the treatment of AD. Continue reading Neurodegenerative diseases and some ideas for research→