Saturday, July 24, 2010

Alzheimer's A Sudden Flash of Genius?

By Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Front Row
Like everyone in the Alzheimer's community, I believe we need more funding for Alzheimer's research. We need to investigate all legitimate hypotheses. We need to do it now.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Most invention and breakthroughs in science are accompanied by what is later described as "a sudden flash of genius." I have always imagined that this is what will happen when an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease is discovered.

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Rudy Tanzi is a professor of neurology and director of the genetics and aging unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. After having a beer with his buddies, Dr. Tanzi went back to his office and looked at his list of genes associated with Alzheimer's disease. He noticed that many of the genes looked like genes associated with the so-called innate immune system. He walked into the office of his colleague Robert Moir and mentioned this to him. Moir then handed Tanzi a spreadsheet, it was a comparison of A-beta and a well-known protein of the innate immune system, LL-37. They looked very similar.

I'll spare you the long scientific explanation. Bottom line, they did a whole bunch of tests and came up with a new and different way of looking at amyloid beta and possible treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

As I sit here typing I am wondering, did Dr. Rudolph Tanzi experience the sudden flash of genius? It is too early to tell, and it will be sometime before we know.

To continue reading go to the Alzheimer's Reading Room for this original content.

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