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Alzheimer's Research Investigation

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-August-06, 23:30

Hi all

I just came across this interesting story regarding Alzheimer's research and medications, and recent investigation

It is made even more interesting by the connection with short-selling against questionable research

Would love to hear any comments, especially from assembled experts and others

Interesting read to us ordinary people

P

Interesting Story

PS I should credit Mad in America again for bringing it to my attention
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#2 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-August-07, 01:52

If you want to keep track of articles that have been retracted - representing only the stuff that has been caught and dealt with, you can search the "Retraction Watch" database.
Here are the results for amyloid: the stuff that is seen in the brain of people that had Alzheimer's disease.

A simple example is the old saw that Bridge improves cognitive function and decreases the risk of dementia.
There is no evidence for this.
The 'findings' (very slender indeed) show an association between playing Bridge/Chess/wordle/ etc etc and better levels of cognitive function but there are no studies that I'm aware of that demonstrate causation.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; les règles sont le jeu même.
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#3 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-07, 10:34

"Interesting read to us ordinary people". Yes, definitely. Thank you.
Ken
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#4 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-August-07, 17:52

View Postkenberg, on 2022-August-07, 10:34, said:

"Interesting read to us ordinary people". Yes, definitely. Thank you.

:lol:
Sorry no insult intended Ken. I was talking about me :)

I think the thing that I am most curious about is the nature of the trading and whether the likes of the SEC have any interest in the matter

I am impressed at their use of public information and expertise etc

An impressive short indeed
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#5 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-08, 17:56

View Postthepossum, on 2022-August-07, 17:52, said:

:lol:
Sorry no insult intended Ken. I was talking about me :)

I think the thing that I am most curious about is the nature of the trading and whether the likes of the SEC have any interest in the matter

I am impressed at their use of public information and expertise etc

An impressive short indeed


And no insult was taken. My knowledge of medicine, genetics, etc is scant. Just looking back on my own life, I believe genetic material is very significant but of course not the whole story. Choices also matter, matter a lot. and while I am sorry to hear that someone may be stacking the cards a bit for research results, I know that gets tricky to prove. By " Yes, definitely. Thank you." I meant " Yes, definitely. Thank you."
Ken
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#6 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-August-10, 17:51

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-August-07, 01:52, said:

A simple example is the old saw that Bridge improves cognitive function and decreases the risk of dementia.
There is no evidence for this.
The 'findings' (very slender indeed) show an association between playing Bridge/Chess/wordle/ etc etc and better levels of cognitive function but there are no studies that I'm aware of that demonstrate causation.

Quite right. It's possible that the neurological traits that make you less susceptible to dementia also lead to more interest in playing mentally challenging games.

It's hard to perform controlled experiments to determine causal links for things like this. We can force mice to run around in mazes every day, but it's hard to make a random sample of people take up bridge. So bridge players are a self-selected group, and selection bias taints the results.

#7 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-11, 07:07

Some of these "improvements" are amusing. I work crossword puzzles more often than I used to. Becky is much much faster at it than I am but I am starting to catch on to some of it. I work the daily puzzle in WaPo which is reprinted from the LA Times. I have learned that if the clue involves a cookie and the answer is to be four letters long then the answer is oreo. Similarly, a four letter answer to a clue that involves music is aria, and a four letter answer to a clue that involves colleges is yale. Yoko Ono makes frequent appearances in these puzzles. Also the musical group ELO. If I worked puzzles from a different source, I suppose I would need to learn a different set of frequently appearing answers.

I don't so much expect such activities to ward off dementia, it's more that I see it as reassurance that I have not yet completely lost it. On the physical side, I mow grass with a push mower. Sure, the blades spin by means of electricity, but I push it, I don't ride on it. My cardiologist has scheduled me for a stress test that I expect to do fine on, the reason being that I have no problems mowing the grass. Well, too hot lately but that will change, I hope.

So. I play bridge because I enjoy it, just as I mow my grass because I enjoy it. If I can no longer do one or the other, I will figure I have a problem. Warding off problems is partly genes, partly choices, partly luck.

Anyway, the thread is Alzheimer's and I am sorry to hear that some of the data might be fudged.
Ken
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#8 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-August-11, 16:29

View Postkenberg, on 2022-August-11, 07:07, said:

So. I play bridge because I enjoy it, just as I mow my grass because I enjoy it. If I can no longer do one or the other, I will figure I have a problem. Warding off problems is partly genes, partly choices, partly luck.



Maybe it's the element of danger that causes the enjoyment.

Simon HB Harvard Mens Health Watch. 1999 Jun;3(11):8. said:

I am married to a 63-year-old accountant who subscribes to the Harvard Men's Health Watch. My husband had a small heart attack last winter. He feels fine now, but he has to take five pills a day. He's back to his golf, and when he doesn't play he walks two miles a day. But he insists on mowing the lawn himself, pushing a heavy mower, and I'm worried. What do you think?

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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-August-11, 18:46

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-August-11, 16:29, said:

Maybe it's the element of danger that causes the enjoyment.




Quote


Simon HB Harvard Mens Health Watch. 1999 Jun;3(11):8. said:

I am married to a 63-year-old accountant who subscribes to the Harvard Men's Health Watch. My husband had a small heart attack last winter. He feels fine now, but he has to take five pills a day. He's back to his golf, and when he doesn't play he walks two miles a day. But he insists on mowing the lawn himself, pushing a heavy mower, and I'm worried. What do you think?




It's a legitimate question but what are the alternatives? You would have to know the individuals and even then it's a bit tough. I got most of the crazy out of my system when I was in my teens. Now, in my 80s, I take life very seriously. Somewhere along the way I came to realize that I want to live because there are several people who very much hope I will do so. Crazy is not the way to do it, but sitting around doing nothing is not such a good idea either. When I was 13 and going off to summer camp my doctor refused to sign off on some planned activities because I had a heart murmur. I ignored his restrictions and probably became healthier by doing so. That's not where I am now, but I am not sitting still either. Becky and I have good conversations regarding what is sensible and what is not. And we do pay attention to doctors. And then we make our own decisions.

We all make such choices, they just come up more often when you are 80 than they do when you are 40. 63 is between 40 and 80.
Ken
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#10 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-August-11, 19:30

I'm with you Ken. It was hard to be certain which problem exercised Simon HB's correspondent the most.
Possibly she was most concerned about being married to a 63 year old accountant.
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#11 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-October-30, 17:32

Yesterday a news item appeared in which it was asserted that picking your nose may cause Alzheimer's disease.
Here's the paper.
It turns out that Chlamydia pneumoniae (no, not that chlamydia) is the culprit if you're a mouse:


Quote

In vitro, C. pneumoniae was able to infect peripheral nerve and CNS glia. In summary, the nerves extending between the nasal cavity and the brain constitute invasion paths by which C. pneumoniae can rapidly invade the CNS likely by surviving in glia and leading to Aβ deposition.

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#12 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2022-October-30, 20:26

My partner was diagnosed with "Alzheimer's" a few years ago. I threw myself into learning all about the disease to cope with the diagnosis and best prepare for his future.
After much research, discussions with a open minded doctor, brain scans, and cognitive tests I started questioning the diagnosis, and I still am. IMO "Alzheimer's" appears to be used as a catch all for aged related memory loss and other symptoms.
Past head trauma, sleep apnea, and other factors I won't share, seem to be contributing factors in his case. The sleep apnea piece has been a huge factor and in my non medically qualified opinion, has seen a significant improvement once treated. Over these past few years I had contact with other alzheimer's suffers and our case is definitely atypical.

This is an interesting article , "alzheimer's is not a brain disease"
https://www.sciencea...ase-expert-says
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#13 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-November-02, 18:01

View Postjillybean, on 2022-October-30, 20:26, said:

My partner was diagnosed with "Alzheimer's" a few years ago. I threw myself into learning all about the disease to cope with the diagnosis and best prepare for his future.
After much research, discussions with a open minded doctor, brain scans, and cognitive tests I started questioning the diagnosis, and I still am. IMO "Alzheimer's" appears to be used as a catch all for aged related memory loss and other symptoms.
Past head trauma, sleep apnea, and other factors I won't share, seem to be contributing factors in his case. The sleep apnea piece has been a huge factor and in my non medically qualified opinion, has seen a significant improvement once treated. Over these past few years I had contact with other alzheimer's suffers and our case is definitely atypical.

This is an interesting article , "alzheimer's is not a brain disease"
https://www.sciencea...ase-expert-says


My sister-in-law told me recently what her doctor told her and it made a lot of sense. She said if you forget where you put the car keys that is because you weren't paying attention-if you've forgotten what car keys are for, then you have a problem.

PS. As an retired RN, my understanding 10 years ago was that Alzheimer's could only be truly diagnosed in an autopsy. I do not know if that has changed. I bring it up only to suggest that if still true, doubting the diagnosis is reasonable.
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#14 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2022-November-02, 22:41

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-November-02, 18:01, said:

My sister-in-law told me recently what her doctor told her and it made a lot of sense. She said if you forget where you put the car keys that is because you weren't paying attention-if you've forgotten what car keys are for, then you have a problem.

PS. As an retired RN, my understanding 10 years ago was that Alzheimer's could only be truly diagnosed in an autopsy. I do not know if that has changed. I bring it up only to suggest that if still true, doubting the diagnosis is reasonable.


I am not medically trained in any way but it is my understanding that the rate of brain atrophy is significantly accelerated in those suffering from dementia/alzheimers. Although significant atrophy does not occur until the final stages I would have thought brain scans could detect an increased rate from earlier on.
The absence of stroke, traumatic head injury or other hereditary diseases must lead towards a diagnosis of dementia, alzheimer's being the most common form.
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#15 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 02:44

There are many diseases (and drugs) that can reduce cognitive ability.
As we age, some of these can happen at the same time making a "straightforward" diagnosis very difficult.
To make things even more difficult no two people experience the same disease process the same way.
It is also possible for one person to experience more than one degenerative problem at the same time - or sequentially.

This problem is made even more frustrating with disorders that affect the mind because it is very hard to objectively assess "thinking" unless major deficits are present.
There are no simple X-rays (although imaging techniques are making a lot of progress in helping to understand brain function) to say how badly affected a person's mind is.
"Brain atrophy" on an MRI/CT or plain X-ray doesn't say much about brain function, and is common as people age.
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#16 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 07:45

View Postjillybean, on 2022-November-02, 22:41, said:

I am not medically trained in any way but it is my understanding that the rate of brain atrophy is significantly accelerated in those suffering from dementia/alzheimers. Although significant atrophy does not occur until the final stages I would have thought brain scans could detect an increased rate from earlier on.
The absence of stroke, traumatic head injury or other hereditary diseases must lead towards a diagnosis of dementia, alzheimer's being the most common form.

pilowsky is the expert but my understanding is that Alzheimer’s is not about atrophy but about plaques that interrupt the neurons’ abilities to communicate. Those plaques are not detectable by scans or xray.
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#17 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 08:11

This discussion is interesting and quite possibly useful. My approach to many medical issues is much like I understand JB's to be. Doctors are useful, very useful, but they are not gods, they are not infallible, so doing some personal ope minded research is important. It was maybe 12 years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I believe this diagnosis saved my life. I had been having some memory issues, then I had a TIA (aka a mini-stroke), a doctor suggested I be tested for sleep apnia. There is something called the alnea-hypopnia index. Below 5 is normal,5-30 indicates problems, above 30 is a serious problem, mine was above 60. Now, using a BiPap, my AHI last night was 2.85.

As to brain decay: This same doctor, Dr Chu by name, had done some sort of scan and asked me to come in to see the results, which she did before reading them herself. About the first thing she said when the results appeared on the screen was "Oh, your brain has shrunk". People probably vary in how they take such comment. I saw it as showing that this was a doctor would tell me the truth in a straightforward way. I very much like that.

As to Alzheimer's and whether a diagnosis is accurate. It gets tricky. A friend's wife died of Alzheimer's and she went through what I gather were pretty predictable stages and so the diagnosis was probably correct. I have some concerns about myself. I am adopted and my knowledge of my birth parents is meager, but my understanding is that my birth mother did die of Alzhweimer's. Otoh, she died in her 90s and someone who is 90 is likely to have issues, maybe quite a few issues, and likely to die of one or the other of them, or of a combination.

JB describes her partner's doctor as open-minded. That's the sort I want. Some forty-plus years ago I had an auto-immune eye disease that requiredsome substantial drugs. Before taking the treatment I had to be cleared by my general practitioner except he was in the hospital himself, so I went to the doc who was covering for him When I explained my disease to her she replied "I never heard of that one, I will have to look it up" OMG, a doctor who easily admits to not knowing everything. Again reactions to such a statement probably vary but for me it created trust. Of course she doesn't know everything. I am a Ph.D. mathematician. That doesn't mean that I can explain the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem if we meet on the street. I could understand it if I took a month or so to study it.

As I said, an interesting and very possibly useful discussion.
Ken
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#18 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 10:38

Let me reiterate I am not a doctor. My experience is much like yours-physicians are highly educated professionals but like us all are fallible-except for the cardiologists-just ask them, they’ll tell you I am right.😊
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#19 User is offline   sharon j 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 12:45

This topic is of great interest to me. I have noticed a difference in my husband's mental acuity in the last 6 + months. I've told him that I'm concerned about this and have asked him to discuss it with his doctor. Outside of doing this, I have no idea what I should do or even if there is anything I can do.
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#20 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-November-03, 12:52

There are medicines but my experience (more than 10 years ago) is they were not very effective.
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