J. D. Heyes
Oct 1, 2012
Medications are nutrition. That’s essentially the rationale behind a couple of Big Pharma corporations’ decision to give a failed Alzheimer’s drug a second chance.
In early August, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson said they were ending large-scale clinical trials of their experimental drug bapineuzumab in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, because patients taking it did not show signs of improved memory or thinking skills.
That was disappointing to millions of Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families, though the results of the trials were all but expected by researchers and investors who believed the drug had little chance to succeed.
Such pessimism is driven by a new belief among scientists who think the disease is actually a decades-long process “in which the toxic protein beta amyloid gradually builds up in the brain before dementia sets in,” Reuters reported.
If at first you don’t succeed…
That belief has led scientists to conclude; therefore, that clinical trials for new Alzheimer’s drugs should be conducted years in advance, before the disease has had a chance to do its damage – though some experts think Big Pharma will balk at such a notion after already spending billions on failed trial.
“Even though the scientific rationale might still be valid and strong and not adequately tested in the phase of the disease where you might expect the therapy to work, that may be lost to investors,” Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, Minn., told the newswire service. “I hope that is not the case.”
Neither company has said yet whether they intend to conduct trials in people who have risk factors for Alzheimer’s but do not yet have symptoms, but the companies – who are developing the drug jointly – are set to present data in September showing whether or not the drug reduced levels of beta amyloid and other so-called biomarkers in the brain. That data will determine whether bapineuzumab is appropriate for use in earlier trials.
In short, Big Pharma wants to treat a disease even before it ever shows up. What’s more, an unproven medicine, rather than nutrition, is being pushed as the most effective way to deal with Alzheimer’s.
There’s a better way to guard against Alzheimer’s that doesn’t cost billions of dollars, risk your health or drive up the cost of medications.
Antioxidants and other natural nutrients
According to prior Alzheimer’s research, evidence shows that the build-up of beta amyloid plaque is a major component of the disease. They show that high levels of beta result in neuronal cell death, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information at Bethesda, Md. In addition, researchers have found that beta amyloids can increase in the absence of friendly endothelial nitric oxide (eNOS), which is essential to the proper function of our vascular system. While more research is needed, some studies have shown a relationship between the disease and the chemical resveratrol, which can increase eNOS and thereby lower levels of the plaque seen in Alzheimer’s (resveratrol “is a natural protective compound found in high concentrations in red grapes, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts, and some berries,” wrote NaturalNews.com’s John Phillip).
There’s more causal evidence.
“Our data suggest that endothelial NO (nitric oxide) plays an important role in modulating APP (amyloid precursor protein) expression and processing within the brain and cerebrovasculature,” one study by the National Institutes of Health has concluded.
Other evidence suggests the naturally occurring antioxidant carnosine can also drastically reduce the formation of beta amyloid plaques, as can carcumin, the primary ingredient in curry.
Research is ongoing but it seems odd to try to replace a nutrient-based solution with an unproven medication that could have damaging side effects.
This article was posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 at 8:00 am