Showing posts with label Alzheimers drug research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alzheimers drug research. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2020

GAIN Could Treat Alzheimers in Some Patients - How to be Part of the Study

Good news for those who are concerned about Alzheimer's Disease.  I recently learned about a trial for a new drug called GAIN which appears to have had some success in restoring memory and reducing signs of Alzheimer's Disease in certain patients. The drug is currently undergoing human trials, and researchers are looking for volunteers between the ages of 55 and 80 who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease.  Trial participants must also have a caregiver or family member who can attend study visits, report on how the subject seems to be handling daily living, and confirm that the patient is taking the medication.

It does not matter whether or not you are currently being treated with another medication in an effort to slow down the progression of your Alzheimer's Disease.  They will not ask you to stop any other medications you are currently using.  GAIN can be used alone or in addition to your current medications, not instead of them.  So far, the results of the study have been interesting and the researchers have been encouraged by what they have seen.   However, study samples have been small, so it is important that more people participate in the trial.

How Does GAIN Treat Alzheimer's Disease?

Readers of this blog will know that untreated gum disease in our mouth has been implicated in causing other health problems, included heart disease and an increased risk of dementia.  According to the website for GAIN, this drug trial, "is based on the growing body of scientific evidence that the bacteria P. gingivalis, commonly associated with gum disease, can infect the brain and cause Alzheimer’s disease." It is "an investigational drug designed to inactivate toxic proteins released by the bacteria and stop or slow further damage to healthy brain cells. A study in a small group of Alzheimer’s patients has shown promise in improving memory."

This is a revolutionary approach to treating Alzheimer's Disease.   While scientists have long suspected that toxic proteins in the brain contribute to Alzheimer's Disease, only recently have they discovered that some of those toxic proteins may be related to the gingivitis gum bacteria which also causes the loss of bone and teeth in the mouth, as well as other health problems.  In fact, they have learned that 90% of people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease have evidence of P. gingivalis in their central nervous system.

Where to Get More Information about GAIN

The trial is being conducted at 90 locations around the United States and Europe, as well as in the United Kingdom.  The researchers hope to find at least 500 study participants.  You can get more information about the drug and find out how to participate in the trial at  You can also download the study brochure which goes into even more detail about the drug and how you can participate in the trial, if you think you may be interested.  The study is being sponsored by Cortexyme.

More Ways to Cut Risk of Alzheimer's and Other Forms of Dementia

While this research on the effects of mouth bacteria on our brain is groundbreaking, there are additional ways you can help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, dementia and other types of cognitive decline.  Diet, exercise, socialization and many other factors are also important.

You can develop your own personal plan to protect your brain by reading  "The Alzheimer's Solution."  (Ad)  It contains a great deal of helpful information, and I highly recommend it, since none of us want to lose our memories and our independence as we age.

More Conclusions from this Research

One obvious result of this research is the importance of caring for our gums and teeth if we want to live a long, healthy life, free from heart disease and dementia. While gingivitis is not the only cause of these health problems, it is one of the risk factors we can reduce or eliminate.

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning for retirement, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare, common medical issues as you age, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading from the article:

Photo credit:  Pixabay

Monday, March 14, 2016

Stanford Research on Alzheimers

Many experts believe that if someone lives long enough, it is virtually inevitable they will develop some type of dementia, most likely Alzheimer's.  While many of us express the desire to live a long, healthy, active life, very few of us like the idea that Alzheimer's will be a part of that scenario.

The University of California - Irvine has been studying people who are 90+ or the "oldest of the old" for over 30 years, and the results of their research has been included in this blog.  Meanwhile, Stanford University and several other well-known research universities have been doing their own research on Alzheimer's and dementia.

Dr. Frank Longo, chairman of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, heads up their research into treatments for Alzheimer's.  So far, although over 200 Alzheimer's drugs have been developed and tested in the U.S. since 2000, none of them have proven successful at stopping or reversing this disease. In a few cases, some of the drugs have shown a little promise in relieving the worst problems related to memory loss and confusion.  However, much more needs to be done.

Dr. Longo is frustrated by their limited success.  He reports, "My biggest frustration is that we've cured Alzheimer's in mice many times.  Why can't we move that success to people?"

Longo is now studying a drug known as LM11A-31 (or C31) that shows promise.  Rather than trying to erase the plaques of amyloid that seems to be present in most cases of Alzheimer's, this drug attempts to keep brain cells strong enough that, hopefully, they will be protected against neurological onslaughts, whether they are caused by amyloids or other factors.  This is a new, but important approach, because about 30 percent of people over 70 have amyloid in their brains but no signs of dementia.  In addition to amyloids, another Alzheimer's related protein is called tau.  Tau usually appears in the late stages when memory, organized thinking, and language have already begun to decline.

Approximately 1/3 of Americans over the age of 85 already are afflicted with Alzheimer's.  Around the world, 50 million people are living with some form of dementia.  Within 20 years, that number is expected to double.  Within three years, the global cost of caring for people with dementia could reach over $1 trillion.

Doctors are now able to do brain scans that can identify whether or not someone has amyloid deposits or tau in the brain.  However, they do not have a way to remove either problem, even if they see it in the scan.  That is why Longo's drug, C31, could be game changing.  If this drug is able to successfully slow down or stop the deterioration of nerve cells, it could enable doctors to prevent some of the damage caused by the amyloid in the brain. In mice, this drug has even been able to reverse some of the damage that has already been done ... although researchers are not sure if it can restore lost memory.

Other avenues of research are also being pursued.  For example, researchers at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center have discovered that people who have higher levels of a nerve-growth factor called BDNF tend to retain their cognitive functions longer, even when amyloid builds up.  Those who have the most BDNF saw a 50 percent slower rate of cognitive decline.  So far, there are no drugs that will boost a person's BDNF levels, although that is another avenue of exploration.

While more research needs to be done, these studies at Stanford and other locations are encouraging.

You may also want to read more about the University of California at Irvine's 90+ Study on the Oldest of the Old.


"Alzheimer's From a New Angle," Time Magazine, Feb. 29, 2016.

Interested in more information about aging, health, where to retire or financial planning?  Use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles related to retirement and aging.

You are reading from the blog:

Photo credit: