2 04 2012

Francisco Kerdel-Vegas



With the gradual increase in global life expectancy, It is logical to proportionally increase degenerative diseases observed especially in the elderly, such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease (EA).

Alzheimer's disease (It is named for German neuropathologist and psychiatrist, Alois Alzheimer, who described it in 1906), It is recognized as the most common form of dementia. Far is not known to be an effective treatment for this disease, It gets worse when you progress over time and eventually leads to the death of the patient (on average about seven years after its inception).

It was estimated that you for the year 2006 had 26,6 million patients worldwide and that already substantial number will continue to grow with an annual levy disproportionate in the following years. In the United States alone it is estimated that you there are more than 5 millions of patients with EA.

At the beginning of this frightening disease's own cognitive disorders, that usually affects men and women of 65 years, It manifests itself by the difficulties experienced to remember recent events. Then the behavior of the patient is complicated and the symptoms appear confusion, irritability, aggression, sudden mood changes, problems talking and distant memory loss. As these symptoms are established, the patient with EA distances himself from the family and social life, and an almost permanent assistance required.

More than one year ago said that, “the statistics are incontrovertible, the disease has become the number one public health of the United States problem by their frequency and their havoc. Before that nothing is to be noted that he has acquired the characteristics of an epidemic, Since produces the death of 5,3 millions of citizens of that country in a year, and undertake economic activity of 11 millions more, dedicated to caring for the sick. The cost is astronomical and reaches more of 170 billions of dollars per year, with a projection of reach to 2 trillions of dollars in the next decade.” (DOCTOPOLIS blog).

The information released this month of February of 2012 in the prestigious magazine Science, by the Group of neuroscientists at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio), led by Professor Gary Landreth, It reveals the remarkable improvement in three varieties of mice with induced EA, under treatment with Bexarotene. This drug, whose trade name is Targretin, is a molecule that is approved by the “Food and Drug Administration” (FDA) the year 2000 for treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, It was developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, California) and whose rights were subsequently acquired by the Japanese pharmaceutical House Eisai in 2006.

Although we must admit that the cause and progression of the EA still produce many unknowns, numerous studies show that it is associated with the tank in the brain of plaques and tangles of amyloid, and Landreth explained that the Bexarotene acts increasing levels of apolipoprotein E, that helps eliminate the amyloid plaques.

It is, without doubt, a momentous discovery and has been well received by distinguished scientists in all parts of the world, and although test results obtained with the Bexarotene in the EA in mice can be played in humans it will take some time (perhaps even years), in the case of a drug already approved and used in the treatment of other conditions, It is not difficult to deduce that sooner rather than later we know how effective is human.



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