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Alzheimer's Antibodies Found! 'Most reliable blood test yet'

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Mark, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Extraordinary finding in Alzheimer's that looks very strong and could be game-changing. I follow Alzheimer's research quite closely because it's in the family, and this is the most remarkable and exciting thing I've ever read...

    "The blood of patients with the brain disease contains antibodies not found in healthy people."

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110106/full/news.2011.0.html?s=news_rss

    The approach taken is also quite brilliant, groundbreaking, and widely applicable to diseases of unknown aetiology:

    "Typically, a scientist would fish out such antibodies using the disease proteins they attack. However, Kodadek's team reasoned that antibodies should also recognize other kinds of molecules. They created glass slides coated with thousands of differently shaped peptoid molecules — chemical cousins of peptides that are likely to be recognized by antibodies."

    ...and tested to see which ones reacted with Alzheimer's patients' blood, and then verified the test they'd created, with superb results: their test correctly identified 98% of Alzheimer's patients, and distinguished them from controls with 95% accuracy.

    "...the small number of peptoids unique to those with the disease could point to a very specific immune response against an unknown disease molecule. If true, that would most certainly change the current view of this disease."

    "Kodadek's team is hoping to find the molecule or molecules recognized by the Alzheimer's antibodies. They also plan to apply the peptoid screen to discovering antibodies against various cancers."


    (and maybe, one day, somebody can do the same for us...)



    So significance for us is: this changes the whole picture of Alzheimer's to suggest a viral link to some unknown pathogen (just as we have been speculating it could be XMRV) and gives a groundbreaking new technique that can be used to track down any arbitrary unkown pathogen in any disease.


    Oh yeah...and they picked up about 5% apparent "false positives" in their control group, but they're pretty sure those aren't really "false positives" at all, but people infected with something that's going to go on to give them Alzheimer's eventually....about 5%...hmm...


    They've no idea what these 'antibody' shapes are reacting to just yet...they're looking now for that...but I hope they're going to test them against XMRV and let us know asap!!!....
  2. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Wow - amazing research.

    So...they've found a test for Alzheimer's (?) and shown that Alzheimer's is caused by a virus?
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi this is only a small study, based on a really tiny study. It needs to be scaled up. It also doesn't prove viral involvement, only implies it. Its still great news though. Bye, Alex
  4. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Very interesting indeed - thanks for posting. Always wondered why my Neurologist spoke of high spots in the brain after my MRI scan 8 years ago. Just feel this type of research has to good for us.
  5. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Well of course all the usual caveats apply - needs to be replicated, doesn't prove causality, etc etc, but basically, yes, that's what I think it probably means.

    "Cause" is a word to get hung up over, probably misleading to even think that way, in a black and white way, about anything.

    And it doesn't have to be a virus necessarily, the antibodies could in theory be latching on to something else I suppose.

    And all they've shown so far is that Alzheimer's patients all seem to have these particular antibodies - they haven't proved there's a virus there, nor indeed have they even found what the virus is. Somebody better qualified than I might comment on the feasibility that antibodies might not imply a virus - I think Dr Mikovits quote was something like "an immune response requires a pathogen"?

    But the blood test, if replicated, does like like the first decent test for Alzheimer's, which should hopefully be able to catch it before symptoms manifest, and the most obvious explanation for the whole thing would seem to be a virus.

    Or a retrovirus, of course...

    I think the only people who will be arguing strongly against this whole line of inquiry, would be those who are convinced that Alzheimer's isn't a viral thing, for some other reason. I can imagine other researchers thinking 'that can't be right, how would that fit with what we know about tangled proteins etc?' But of course, it could lie underneath the whole thing. And it could be an enabler, it could be an enabler for multiple conditions...and it perfectly well could be XMRV itself.

    It will be very interesting to compare with our situation, to see how researchers react, because to me, a virus in Alzheimer's seems to come right out of the blue, I've never read any hint of that before.

    Can't tell you how excited I am on this one! It's the awesome technique they used, as much as anything. Antibodies fix onto pathogens based on shape. They figured: let's create a massive whole load of different shapes, and see if anything sticks to them: then we can find the antibodies without needing to find the virus itself first. And the thing is, you could do that for any condition! I can imagine that, eventually, you could even do it on an individual basis rather than investigating a well-defined group.

    I haven't read anything of anybody else's reaction to this at all yet, just the Nature report. But the whole thing sounds massive to me - the cleverest, most innovative, most groundbreaking, most useful bit of recent medical science I can think of - the impact it could have for all mystery illnesses is potentially huge! Sounds like Nobel material to me...but do remember, I'm a rank amateur! :)
  6. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Wow. My poor old gran has gone Alzheimery. It doesn't look much fun at all.
  7. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Oh yeah - forgot to mention this bit:

    "As a proof of principle, Kodadek's team searched for antibodies produced by mice that have a multiple sclerosis-like condition caused by their antibodies attacking the fatty sheaths surrounding nerves. "

    So there's an MS-like condition in mice where the antibodies attack the myelin sheath, eh? And what provokes those antibodies? Another mouse virus maybe?

    We're accustomed to the autoimmune theory, whereby the immune system has supposedly gone haywire and started attacking itself. But couldn't the actual provocation to create these antibodies, in all those 'autoimmune' conditions, be a real virus we just don't know about, and the 'autoimmune' damage is just collateral damage?
  8. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Very sorry to hear that Esther. We can add you to the list of familial Alzheimer's connections - there's a fair bit of interest in Alzheimer's possible connection to ME.

    Whilst it's a really cruel disease, in many ways it can be even tougher on spouses, carers, and family members, in my limited experience.

    Degeneration can often be quite slow, and we've been extremely lucky that way - and there's lots of promising research lately, and promising ways that seem to slow progression - especially B6/9/12, lowering cholesterol, other dietary advice, etc, and I'm quite big on saying: do try to reduce levels of environmental metal toxins, especially aluminium.

    One thing that blew my mind rather when I looked it up was: check out when and where Alzheimer's was first observed, and when and where widespread commercial aluminium production began. Put together with the recent German research on deficient metal detoxification processes in Alzheimers brains. Run your eyes over Wessely's role in the Camelford poisoning once again, and note the specific toxins involved, and what's started happening to people - with Wessely saying it could all just be caused by the stress of knowing they'd been poisoned so there's no point studying the long-term effects of the poisoning in detail. Consider the significance of B12 in both ME and Alzheimer's. And wonder at the way it all seems to be fitting together really rather neatly...

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