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

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

my story revisited #75-alzheimer worms


in the research world you never know where you will find the answer to a disease
sometimes its from the dirt from sewage from the ocean from unusual animals
remember penicillin came from mold like my wife she gets on our bread 

so maybe an answer to alzheimers can be found this way 

in 2012 at the walk to end alzheimers in austin texas a researcher from the university of texas had a booth demonstrating some research they were doing using worms
the main professor doing the research wasnt there but his grad student was
she answered our questions

it intrigued me how this little worm described below in the blog could be used in alzheimers research
could a treatment be found using these as i called them itty bitty worms

i set up a time to go visit the lab at the university of texas

i met the professor who was the brains behind the research
sorry i cant remember his name

here i found the link to an article on his research after i wrote this blog

he was young and had a small child who had downs syndrome
down syndrome patients eventually tend to get alzheimers disease as they age
he was interested in finding a treatment or cure or something to slow down this disease

so he was focusing on what i called after seeing the lab them alzheimer worms

just that week i had purchased from a mail order worm about 2 lbs of compost worms to put in my compost pile and in my raised bed garden 
so my brain was all focused on worms that week

basically as i remember it the researchers took the alzheimers gene which would be the one that causes early onset alzheimers disease and inserted into the worms dna
ie causing them to have alzheimers or what happened was they produced products like amyloid etc

these worms only live about 2 weeks so you can see the effects of the gene within a week

next they would add medications like the cancer drug mentioned below into the growing medium of the worm
if the worm didnt develop alzheimers then that drug possibly could be used in humans

so there are hundreds of drugs and chemicals that can be quickly tested this way 
if they seem to work then they might get moved to the next level
it would then be given to mice who have the alzheimers gene inserted in their dna to see if it worked on them
if it did 
then more research would be done on the drug

hundreds of medications some already in use especially the cancer drugs could be screened for possibly slowing down alzheimers disease

to think
worms could be used this way to find a cure for this awful disease

heck they do miracles on your soil in your garden leading to beautiful healthy vegetables
why cant they help make beautiful healthy brains again these little alzheimer worms


well thats what i call them
alzheimer worms
their official name is
caenorhabditis elegans
c elegans for short
they are 1 mm long live in the soil and are transparent
they are used in research because you can see everything
the digestive system reproductive system nervous system

at the walk to end alzheimers this weekend in austin
researchers from ut austin were there talking about the
research they were doing on this itty bitty worm

they have developed a worm
the ones i call the alzheimer worms
who develop alzheimers in 3 days
so they can test drugs on these worms and in 3 days see
if they work to prevent alzheimers disease
they can tell by looking at the nerves in the worms to see
if they have degenerated
have those beta amyloid plaques

they are testing many new drugs and chemicals and
are also testing the bexarotene the anticancer drug that will
be used next year in a clinical trial in humans to see if it
slows down the alzheimer process in the brain

so who would have thought that a composting worm would
help me at home in my garden and in the research lab to
evaluate treatments for this awful disease

makes me have a new appreciation for those worms now
every time i open up my buried 5 gallon buckets in my garden that  are just teeming with worms
i always think about these alzheimer worms

i also think about that professor and his child with downs syndrome who would now be a teenager
they are starting to do some clinical studies on using the monoclonal antibodies like i am on to see if it can slow down the disease in these patients

he must feel good knowing he is adding to our knowledge of this disease and by doing so is helping his son

the organicgreen doctor

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