welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, May 17, 2013

will it be there in time

thats the question im asking myself
as ive read a lot about alzheimers disease and how it progresses
real gradually it seems over 20-30 years
and probably over a lifetime
it has multi causes most likely
changing some of those causes may help
you know like blood pressure weight cholesterol diabetes exercise diet
alcohol intake smoking sleep habits etc

as scientists are getting better and better at diagnosing alzheimers
disease we are and will  be seeing more and more  people diagnosed
with this eventually before any symptoms show up

now thats the dilemma
you can diagnosis them
but you cannt really treat them except by altering those things mentioned
use the 5 medicines approved to treat alzheimers disease
none of which actually treats the disease itself but only treats the
im on aricept (donepezil) and have been it for 2 1/2 years in hopes if
my final diagnosis turns out to be alzheimers disease that it may have
slowed down the progression of the diseases symptoms

of the 5 drugs only aricept (donepezil) exelon and namenda are
really used

what is needed now is drugs or treatments to treat the disease before
symptoms ever start and probably as much as 20-30 years before it
starts to show up

possible treatments attack the beta amyloid accumulation or the tau protein
unfolding and destruction in some way
these are thought to be the two hallmarks of alzheimers disease

ive written about the bexarotene studies that are starting up
hoping that the baxarotene will inhibit beta amyloid production
like it did in animal studies
(bexarotene is an old anticancer drug used for certain skin cancers)

in another study one of the old leukemia chemotherapy agents will be
given at a low dose to slow this production of beta amyloid
it appears to work in animal models

several companies have developed new drugs also that work like the
bexarotene and are being tested now in new studies that like bexarotene
will decrease the beta amyloid being produced in the brain

excuse me it seems that you could go back and study people who
were treated with these medicines for their leukemia and cancer and
see if it helped those who were going to get alzheimers
i bet there are blood samples and spinal fluid samples stored somewhere
that could be looked at

the big colombian study using one of the alzheimers vaccine that binds up
the beta amyloid and removes it or prevents it from being deposited in
the brain
hopefully this works because if not this approach using injectible
antitbodies against beta amyloid will not be effective
in this sudy it is given to people in their thirties who are going to get the
disease in a few years
so we will know in less than 5 years if this approach will work

right now across the us another alzheimers vaccine is being given to
prodromal alzheimers patients thats people some like me who have
positive mild neuropsych tests positive beta amyloid and tau proteins
in the spinal fluids and positive pet scans for beta amyloid but who
are really asymptomatic

i would qualify for this study but one of the criteria is that you can not
be on aricept (donepezil) and be on the study
thats a choice i would have to make
would be to stop this knowing
that if this vaccine didnt work stopping the aricept (donepezil) might
make my symptoms deteriorate if what i have is alzheimers disease

as of right now im not willing to do that

so im watching the drug studies closely for a potential treatment that
is in the works

one promising drug is being evaluated by taurx.com where the drug affects
the unfolding of the tau protein
earlier studies on a protype of this drug showed some promise

for me personally
i dont qualify because they arent testing it yet on people like me but are
only giving it to people who are in the early stages of alzhiemers
disease eg like the tennessee basketball coach pat summitt

ill be watching this one real close and if they do start a study in
people like me with minimal symptoms and positive tests
then i plan to try to enter the study
just dont give me that damn placebo

another study that i read about involves an enzyme thats called
it was discovered in a group of people in iceland who do not get
alzheimers disease because of a gene inherited that affects this
secretase enzyme so it doesnt break down amyloid into the
beta amyloid piece that is thought to possibly be the cause of
azlheimers as this beta amyloid piece gets deposited throughout the brain

a new study is being looked at using this to treat people hoping they
too will not get this disease
these new inhibitors of this secretase enzyme lower the beta amyloid
in the brain and
if it works will slow down or prevent the disease
this may be the most promising of all the new treatments
ill be the first in line for that one

yes this is hope for the future
these new drug treatments that are coming
but i realize my window of opportunity is closing if what i have is
alzheimers disease because by the time an official diagnosis is made
its like being told you have stage 4 cancer
the odds are against you

lets hope then that one of these new drugs will be effective

the organicgreen doctor

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