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Antibodies - Promising Treatment for Alzheimer’s

There is great future promise in the race to treat Alzheimer’s disease: An existing treatment for immune disorders has truly slowed down memory decline in Alzheimer's patients and in some cases actually improved memory! The treatment, intravenous immunoglobulin, is a collection of various germ-fighting antibodies that are found in healthy people's blood. An IV infusion of these antibodies fights the sticky plaque buildup of beta amyloid proteins found in Alzheimer’s.

Although the treatment is costly and impractical at this point, drug companies will use this new approach to manufacture a cheaper and more specifically targeted version. Elan and Wyeth are about to test a more specific antibody for Alzheimer’s sticky plaque buildup, known as AAB-001. According to Dr. Lawrence Honig from the Taub Institute at Columbia University, NY this more targeted approach makes a lot more sense, than a randomized antibodies’ treatment.

Until the availability of these antibodies, Aricept has been found to be helpful in delaying the cognitive impairment of the early stages of Alzheimer’s for up to one year. However, since many seniors already take a lot of different pills and aside from the added expense, Aricept carries some side-effects like nausea and diarrhea. Patients might prefer using notes and lists to serve as memory aids instead of taking medication to accomplish this. After a year the effects of Aricept wear off.

In terms of vitamins and supplements, taking sage oil in pill form is claimed to boost memory, alertness and calmness. Apparently, sage inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine. However, don’t take Vitamin E to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s. It has proven to be ineffective. In higher dosages, more than 400 mg., Vitamin E can be damaging to the heart.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, and a personal trainer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB 1240AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com


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