Alzheimer's and other Dementia's

It is my hope to bring you current information and resources on this site that have been used or applied with great success in assisting our clients enjoy a more independent life style. These videos from the UK are unique in that the questions addressed are refreshing and plain as are the answers.

Joseph R Grimm
Executive Director
Arthritis protein linked to Alzheimer's treatment
It reverses cognitive impairment, research finds
A protein linked to rheumatoid arthritis has been found to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. A commercially available treatment for cancer might be soon tested to establish if it can be used to treat Alzheimer's.

The study, conducted on mice, found that a signaling protein released during rheumatoid arthritis stimulates the body's scavenger cells to remove brain deposits of a protein called amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer's.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease which leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue. Those affected are less likely to develop Alzheimer's, an incurable, degenerative disease that is the most common form of dementia.

"Our findings provide a compelling explanation for why rheumatoid arthritis is a negative risk factor for Alzheimer's disease," said principal investigator Huntington Potter, professor of molecular medicine at the University of South Florida.

A recombinant human form of the signaling protein GM-CF is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration under the brand name Leukine, and has been used for years to treat certain cancer patients who need to generate more immune cells, Dr Potter said.

"Our study, along with the drug's track record for safety, suggests Leukine should be tested in humans as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease," he added.

The research was conducted on mice genetically altered to show memory problems exhibited by Alzheimer's patients. The mice who were treated with the GM-CSF protein performed much better on tests that measured their working memory and learning - in fact, they compared to the performance of mice without dementia.

"We were pretty amazed that the treatment completely reversed cognitive impairment in 20 days," said Dr Tim Boyd, one of the lead authors.

The study also found that the brains of Alzheimer's mice treated with the GM-CSF protein showed more than a 50 per cent decrease in beta amyloid, a substance that forms the plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

This reduction, and the improvement in memory, was accompanied by an increase in cells called microglia in the brain. These cells work on inflamed or damaged areas to remove toxic substances.

The scientists believe that the GM-CSF protein recruits more microglia into the brain to remove Alzheimer's plaques.

The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute plans to begin a pilot clinical trial later this year investigating the GM-CSF protein in patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease.

The study appears online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

This article was published on Mon 23 August 2010

We will keep our eye on this research and our fingers crossed here at Active Care.

Joe Grimm
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How to prevent someone from choking
A life saving procedure
In adults, choking usually occurs when food "goes down the wrong way." This means that food has become lodged in the windpipe or trachea instead of being swallowed down by the esophagus.

If the food becomes firmly lodged in the airway, it can cut off the air supply to the lungs and oxygen to the brain, which is why choking is a medical emergency which needs to be dealt with immediately.

What to do if someone is choking
If the airway is only partly blocked, the person should be able to speak, cough or breathe. Under these circumstances:

Encourage the person to cough to try and clear the blockage
Remove any blockage from the mouth if you can
If the person is unable to speak, cry, cough or breathe, you have to act quickly. If the blockage is not expelled, they will become unconscious.

Give up to five back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand
Check the mouth quickly after each one and remove any obvious obstruction
If back blows don't work, and the object is still in place you need to give them five abdominal thrusts. Abdominal thrusts are also known as the Heimlich manoevre. 

To do this:

Stand behind the person and put both arms around their waist and bend them forward 
Place a clenched fist above the person's navel and the bottom of the breast bone
Place your other hand on top, and pull sharply inwards and upwards with both hands
After each thrust, check the mouth for signs of the object
If the blockage is not expelled after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts, call 911 for an ambulance.

Abdominal thrusts can cause injury. People who have been given abdominal thrusts should always be checked out by a docor.

Abdominal thrusts should never be performed on pregnant women, people who are obese or infants under the age of one year old.

This article was published on Thur 27 May 2010
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