Posts Tagged 'Dementia'

Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer Research Offers Invaluable Insights On The Disease

Millions of people across the globe suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated (Alzheimer’s Association, 2008) that in every 71 seconds someone from the US develops Alzheimer’s disease, and estimations by mid-century shows that the probability of someone developing Alzheimer’s disease is every 33 seconds. At present, there are approximately 5.2 million Americans in all age groups who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease; and 13% of these patients fall in the age category of 65 years and older. It is calculated that by 2050 the number of Alzheimer’s patients falling in the age category of 65 years and older will increase to a range of over 11 million to 16 million alone (Alzheimer’s Association, 2008). The facts and figures are alarming and bring our focus to the unmet demand for effective therapeutics and new researches for treatments related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Michael Mullan is an accredited professional from biomedical field. He has extensively researched on the causes and prospective cures of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders conditions. Based in Sarasota, Florida, he is reputed Director of Roskamp Institute. He is a highly qualified professional and has dedicated his time to finding cures for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer research work has provided invaluable insights on the disease with which many potential cures have been developed and tested. Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer research indicates that one of the causes directly related to the disease is the excess accumulation of beta-amyloid, a type of protein, present in the brain. It was estimated that the protein is produced in every human but its excess accumulation can result in Alzheimer’s. Besides, Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer research continuously tests medications and therapeutic treatments to help slow down the accumulation of beta-amyloid and related inflammation in patients.
About Dr Michael Mullan
Dr Michael Mullan has been working in the biomedical field for many years. He is a leading researcher with special expertise in assessment of the earliest cognitive symptoms and stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Mullan’s Alzheimer research works are also published in various articles which help students and researchers for making new discoveries. Find out more about his Alzheimer research works, by browsing through http://www.rfdn.org or http://www.mullanalzheimer.com or http://www.mullanalzheimer.info.

Advertisements

Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer Research Identified Various Genetic Variations

Based in Sarasota, Florida, The Roskamp Institute is a not-for-profit organization. It has dedicated time to finding cures for several neuropsychiatric disorders with a special emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In order to develop therapeutic targets which are specific to Alzheimer’s disease etiology, the scientists engaged in current research at Roskamp Institute focus on dissecting the molecular biological pathways which are associated in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.
Dr. Michael Mullan is the Director of the Roskamp Institute, and along with his team, he discovered the concept of ‘Swedish mutation’, a genetic error which results in overproduction of beta-amyloid by aberrant proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP). The concept of Swedish mutation now forms the bases of most mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Many tests and findings by the Roskamp Institute resulted in several therapeutic prospects for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as well as Cancer.
The Roskamp Institute has contributed greatly by providing research on the treatments of several neuropsychiatric disorders like traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, and Alzheimer, etc. With the guidance and knowledge provided by Dr. Mullan, the institute tested many causes and correlations between Alzheimer’s disease and proteins present in human brain. With Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer research, several types of genetic variations, which can be the cause of Alzheimer’s, have been identified. It was discovered that the central reason to the disease process is a small protein identified as the ß (beta)-amyloid. Although, this protein is present normally in the human brain, but at times excess or abnormal accumulation can result in Alzheimer’s disease. With Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer research, the institute tests cutting edge cures, therapeutic treatments and medications to slow down the process of toxic ß-amyloid accumulation.
Dr Mullan’s Alzheimer research proves that Aβ peptide prevents blood vessel growth and eventually inhibits tumor growth in brain. To identify if Aβ has the same effect with short derivatives, he studied various sequences within the Alzheimer’s Aβ peptide which have potential therapeutic relevance in preventing tumor growth. Dr. Mullan’s Alzheimer research work has contributed exceptionally to the field to help understand the disease and find its cures. Find out more about his Alzheimer research works, by browsing through http://www.rfdn.org or http://www.mullanalzheimer.com or http://www.mullanalzheimer.info.

Family History of Alzheimer’s disease – what does it mean?

Frequently in the Roskamp institute Memory Clinic we are asked what a family history of Alzheimer’s disease means for the children and other blood relatives of sufferers. Although this question is always handled on an individual basis there are some general guidelines that can be offered to access risk for the disease to children and other family members related to a sufferer. Naturally, family members who perceive they are at risk for developing the disease themselves may suffer from a great degree of anxiety it is therefore important to ask the staff at the Roskamp Institute what the individual risk is for developing the disease. In general the genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease can be divided into two categories; early onset familial disease which is highly genetic and occurs in families which may have onsets of the disease in the 40s,50s or 60s; late onset disease which is frequently familial but where the disease onsets in the seventh decade onwards. We shall consider these two scenarios separately.

Early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

The term “early onset Alzheimer’s” is frequently misunderstood or used in a confusing way. What we generally mean by early onset Alzheimer’s is Alzheimer’s that onsets before the age to 60 years. This is in contrast to the term early onset as referencing the early stage of the disease. This is a confusing way to use the term and is discouraged. Early stage disease is a better term to describe the early phases of the disease. Early onset familial disease occurs in families that are affected in multiple generations by mutations in genes that can trigger the disease. Families of early onset disease thankfully are very rare but they have provided great insight into the disease process probably in all cases of the disease (early and late onset). Sadly, frequently in these families the disease is inherited in what is known as an autosomal dominant fashion. Autosomal dominant inheritance means that 50% of the offspring of each generation on average are impacted by the disease. Some generations may be very fortunate and although they may be at risk for inheriting the diseased gene from one or the other parent none of the siblings in a sibship may be affected. On the contrary sibships can be very unlucky in which case more than 50% are impacted with the disease. For each child of an affected parent there is a 50% chance of inheriting the disease and this chance is not influenced by whether other siblings have already inherited the disease or not.

Unfortunately the inheritance of these rare genetic variance means that individuals at risk are highly likely to develop the disease if they live long enough. One of the important characteristics of these familial mutations is that the disease tends to onset around approximately the same time of life. Thus if a family has a mean (average) age of onset of 52 and one inherits one of these rare generic errors then one is unlikely to live to 60 without developing signs or symptoms of the disease. By contrast if one does not carry the mutation then there is no more risk for the disease than the general population.

Again it is most important to emphasize that such families are extremely rare and early onset Alzheimer’s is not the most likely reason for patients or their families to visit the Roskamp Institute Clinic. In fact, approximately 1% or less of cases of Alzheimer’s Disease have what can be described as early onset disease. In the past, individuals who come from such families have sought genetic counseling including genetic testing for these genetic errors. It is relatively straightforward to detect such errors but clearly the genetic information is highly sensitive. Family members should therefore think very carefully before seeking such information however initially finding out more about early onset disease is a recommended step.

Clinicians at the Roskamp Institute are happy to discuss early onset disease with patients and their families as they wish. Finally it should be noted that many cases of early onset disease occur without a family history. Thus individuals can manifest the disease before the age of 60 but have no other known family members either in the prior generations or in subsequent generations that develop the disease the cause of early onset Alzheimer’s that is not familial is not well understood but importantly there is no risk to subsequent family members for development of the disease.

Late onset (common) Alzheimer’s disease. Much more commonly patients and their families come to the clinic at the Roskamp Institute and seek advice on the inheritance of Alzheimer’s when one or more members of the family has late onset disease. This is defined as disease which onsets over the age of 60 and this is by far in a way the most common cause of the disease. It is estimated that approximately 4 million Americans presently either have the disease or are in the early or pre clinical stages – most of these cases are late onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The predicted numbers for future disease prevalence are very high. For instance it is estimated that by mid century there could be as many as two hundred million individuals afflicted with the disease.

Most late onset Alzheimer’s disease does not exhibit a clear autosomal dominant pattern meaning that the risk to offspring of individuals suffering with the disease is usually considerably less than 50%. Certain genetic risk factors for late onset disease have been identified – the most important of which is apolipoprotein E (APOE). There are 3 common forms of APOE: E2, E3 and E4. The discovery by Allen Roses and his colleagues at Duke University showed that Alzheimer’s disease sufferers were much more likely to carry one or two copies of the E4 allele (genetic form) of APOE than the normal population. Carrying one copy of APOE 4 increases ones risk for the disease by approximately three times and carrying two copies can increase the risk for the disease by up to fifteen times compared to individuals who do not carry an APOE 4 allele.

Many family members express interest in being genetically tested for their risk for the disease. Such tests are commercially available but most centers discourage the use of testing prior to symptoms because many individuals who carry an APOE 4 allele do not necessarily develop the disease at least until late old age. Conversely it’s very possible to develop Alzheimer’s disease without carrying an APOE 4 allele. Therefore on an individual basis the test is not overly helpful in specifying who may or may not develop the disease. However on a group basis APOE genetic testing is very helpful to give an average estimate of the numbers of individuals who will subsequently develop Alzheimer’s.

It is anticipated that as better treatments are available for Alzheimer’s disease there will be greater interest in genetic testing. For instance it is expected that as treatments are used earlier and earlier in the stages of the disease that individuals in the very early stage or maybe with no symptoms at all might seek medical treatment once such treatment has been established as effective in stopping the rate of progression or disease onset.

Despite the fact that genetic testing is not used frequently in clinical practice it is a tremendous tool in assisting researchers in understanding when and why the diseases develops and in planning clinical trials to take into account who is most likely to develop the disease. Already there is evidence from several clinical trials that individuals that carry the APOE 4 allele may be more refractory to certain treatments. As drug development progresses it will be important to develop medications that are able to tackle the severest form of the disease i.e. those patients who are carrying and APOE 4 allele.

Summary: The two types of familial Alzheimer’s disease differ in the risk for offspring of developing the disease. The early onset cases as noted have children that are highly at risk for developing the disease if there is a family history. By contrast late onset disease or low clustering in families is much less genetically predisposed. In both cases genetic tests are available but are generally discouraged particularly for late onset disease. Roskamp Institute researchers and clinicians are well versed in the genetic aspects of the disease and can advise on an individual or family basis as required.

The Roskamp Institute is a not-for-profit research Institute located in Sarasota and Tampa, Florida, that is dedicated to understanding the causes of, and finding cures for, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. The Institute’s Memory Clinics also offer comprehensive cognitive and medical assessment toward differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and offers treatments and disease management options once the diagnostic evaluation is complete.

By Dr. Michael Mullan, Director of Alzheimer Research Institute, The Roskamp Institute

for more information on Alzheimer’s please visit:

http://www.mullanalzheimer.com

http://www.mullanalzheimer.info

Do You Or Someone You Care For Suffer From Alzheimer’s Disease?

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

A research study is being conducted in our area to evaluate an investigational medication for Alzheimer’s disease.

Qualified participants may receive:

– Study related medical care

– Study medication

– Compensation for time and travel

Please call now for more info:    Dr. Andrew Keegan

941-256-8018 ext. 353

The Roskamp Institute Memory Clinic and Clinical Trials Division provide a full range of services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease including diagnostic work-up and follow-up treatment, neuropsychological examination, clinical trial opportunities, and memory screening.  For more information, please call (941) 256-8018.

High serum Abeta and vascular risk factors in first-degree relatives of Alzheimer's disease patients

Alzheimer’s disease is clinically characterized by progressive cognitive decline accompanied by the presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. A small protein fragment beta-amyloid (Abeta) with 42 amino acids is shown to deposit earlier in the disease process than the slightly shorter form (40 amino acid fragment).  Both species of this protein fragment are considered toxic to the brain and are shown to have an important role in causing Alzheimer’s disease.  Current research suggests that the disease process in Alzheimer’s begins long before the presence of palpable symptoms and widespread damage in the brain. Therefore, use of beta-amyloid seems promising in identification of individuals at-risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Clinical studies have previously shown that blood and cerebrospinal fluid levels of Abeta may be helpful in diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease but are influenced by factors such as presence of family history and other risk factors. The main objective of a recent study published by the scientists at the Roskamp Institute was to determine whether elevated blood Abeta levels among the first-degree relatives of patients with Alzheimer’s disease are associated with certain risk factors of cardiovascular disease that are also risk factors Alzheimer’s disease, such as hypertension.  Blood Abeta was measured in disease-free first-degree relatives of patients with Alzheimer-like dementia. Study participants were recruited as part of an ancillary study of the Alzheimer’s Disease Anti-inflammatory Prevention Trial (ADAPT subpopulation) which was funded by the National Institutes of Health (UO1AG15477).  Examination of Abeta in this group of individuals showed that Abeta(1-40) fragment was positively associated with age and use of anti-hypertensive medications, but a negative relationship was observed in those individuals who experienced some increase in systolic blood pressure, despite being on anti-hypertensive medication.  On the other hand, the more toxic Abeta(1-42) was associated with statin use (medications used for lowering cholesterol) and with high-density lipoproteins was observed among statin nonusers. These findings suggest that high Abeta in blood samples of family history-enriched individuals may be due to enrichment of vascular risk factors and may reflect presymptomatic stage of Alzheimer’s disease.  As anti-hypertensive medications and statins are considered to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease onset, it remains to be determined whether their association with Abeta reflects mitigation of Abeta-related toxicity in the brain. Longitudinal evaluation of blood Abeta in this cohort will provide a better understanding of the significance of this association in Alzheimer’s disease etiology.

By Abdullah L, Luis C, Paris D, Ait-ghezala G, Mouzon B, Allen E, Parrish J, Mullan MA, Ferguson S, Wood M, Crawford F, Mullan M. These findings were published in Molecular Medicine 2009 Mar-Apr;15(3-4):95-100.

The Roskamp Institute is devoted to understanding causes and finding cures for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. The Institute utilizes a broad range of scientific approaches to understanding the causes of and potential therapies for these disorders with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, please call (941)752-2949

Journal Club: The presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate-stable Aβ dimers is strongly associated with Alzheimer-type dementia

JC Nowell Ganey will present “The presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate-stable Aβ dimers is strongly associated with Alzheimer-type dementia” on Thursday (29th April 2010) at 4:00pm in Roskamp Institute. You can find the article in the following link.

The Roskamp Institute provides a full range of services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease including diagnostic work-up and follow-up treatment, neuropsychological examination, clinical trial opportunities, and memory screening.  For more information, please call (941)752-2949

Cross Validation of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment in Community Dwelling Older Adults Residing in the Southeastern US

By Cheryl A. Luis, Andrew Keegan, and Michael Mullan

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009 Feb;24(2):197-201.

Suitable methods of earlier detection of memory changes, before the full onset of a dementia are needed.  Methods such as imaging for abnormal protein accumulation in the brain and lumbar puncture to measure abnormal proteins in cerebral spinal fluid are not likely to be useful for wide-scale use due to costs and the invasive nature of the procedure.  In this study, we examined the utility of a brief cognitive screen (the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; MoCA), compared to a widely used instrument (the Mini-Mental State Exam; MMSE) in detecting older adults living in the community experiencing significant memory decline and the early signs of dementia. One hundred and eighteen individuals, over the age of 70, participated in the project. The MoCA proved to be highly sensitive in identifying participants with memory problems.  The MMSE was ineffective in comparison. Brief screening instruments such as the MoCA provide an objective and cost-effective means of determining the need for further evaluation of memory changes in older adults at risk for dementia.

The Roskamp Institute provides a full range of services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease including diagnostic work-up and follow-up treatment, neuropsychological examination, clinical trial opportunities, and memory screening.  For more information, please call (941) 256-8018.