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Arthritis drug for Alzheimer's

maryb

iherb code TAK122
Messages
3,602
Location
UK
How clever of Benjamin Hart - all those years ago too - pity the psychs never got around to reading up on him - they may have learnt something real..........
 

Iquitos

Senior Member
Messages
513
Location
Colorado
Yes, wisdom from two veteranarians with application directly to mecfs!

"So I started thinking about how animals act when they're sick," says Hart. "They get depressed, they lose their appetite. But if fever is so important, what they need is more food to fuel the fever. It didn't stack up."
After a few years of mulling this over, Hart published a paper on what he termed "sickness behaviour" in 1985. Lethargy, depression and loss of appetite were not, as people thought, a consequence of infection, but a programmed, normal response to infection that conferred a clear survival advantage in the wild. If an animal moves around less when ill it is less likely to pick up another infection; if it eats or drinks less, it is less likely to ingest another toxin.
"The body goes into a do-or-die, make-or-break mode," says Hart. "In the wild, an animal can afford not to eat for a while if it means avoiding death. It allows the immune system to get going. You do this – and this is the important bit – before you're debilitated, when it's still going to do you some good."
The next crucial step came from across the Atlantic in Bordeaux. In a series of experiments published between 1988 and 1994, Robert Dantzer, a vet turned biologist, showed three things. First, that inflammatory cytokines in the blood, even in the absence of infection, were enough to bring about sickness behaviour.

Second, that these cytokines, produced by immune cells called macrophages, a type of white-blood cell, signal along sensory nerves to inform the brain of an infection.

And third, that this signal is relayed to microglial cells, the brain's resident macrophages, which in turn secrete further cytokines that bring about sickness behaviours: lethargy, depression and loss of appetite.
Dantzer, who has since moved to the University of Texas, had thus dispelled one of the biggest dogmas in neurology – that emotions and behaviours always stemmed from the activity of neurons and neurotransmitters. He showed that in times of trouble, the immune system seizes control of the brain to use behaviour and emotions as an extension of the immune system and to ensure the full participation of the body in fighting infection."

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/17/alzheimers-arthritis-drug-new-weapon

Thanks, Kate!
 

nandixon

Senior Member
Messages
1,092
The article makes it sound like etanercept (Enbrel) has never been studied in Alzheimer's before. Actually, there are studies going back to at least 2006 (and at least as recently as 2012). A researcher named Tobinick at UCLA has been working on this:

TNF-alpha modulation for treatment of Alzheimer's disease: a 6-month pilot study.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16926764/

I'm guessing that a big problem with this drug is cost - and its apparent inability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
 
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