Research too difficult and costly, say pharmaceutical companies
Existing drugs such as donepezil (Aricept), pictured, have limited benefits
The world's leading pharmaceutical companies are downgrading the search for new treatments for Alzheimer's disease after the failure of a series of high-profile drugs trials.
The human and financial costs of the disease are growing rapidly as the population ages, but the prospects of treatments to halt it, or slow its progress, are receding as at least five trials in the past five years have delivered disappointing results.
This year, a trial of Dimebon, backed by Pfizer, the US pharmaceutical giant, and reported in January, failed to show any benefit, instead costing the company $750m in lost investment.
In July, bapineuzumab, developed by Irish drug-maker Elan in association with Pfizer and the US multinational Johnson & Johnson, also failed to show an impact on symptoms.
In August, another US group, Eli Lilly, reported the failure of solanezumab, its second Alzheimer's drug to disappoint in two years. In 2010, a trial of semagacestat not only failed to slow the disease but worsened symptoms.
The setbacks have damaged confidence among drug makers in the field of neuroscience – brain research – which was already shaky.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers worldwide are under pressure and have been cutting back in the recession, but neuroscience has been disproportionately hit, with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline all downsizing their European departments. Speaking at a briefing organised by the Science Media Centre yesterday, Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Neuroscience is a very challenging area. All companies are shedding jobs but neuroscience has had the highest attrition rate.
"AstraZeneca had a very large neuroscience group with some 300 scientists. It is reducing that to a team of 40, who will act as a virtual team – not doing their own research but monitoring developments and forging links with other companies."
Asked if the pipeline of new Alzheimer's drugs could run dry, he said: "That has always got to be a risk. My sense is not that companies want to move away [from Alzheimer's research] but that their shareholders are getting restive. That's capitalism – there is nothing we can do about that. But there is a huge public need."
At least 12 times as much was spent on cancer research as dementia research, yet dementia cost the country twice as much as cancer, he said.
Craig Ritchie, a leading Alzheimer's researcher at Imperial College, who runs a clinic for patients with dementia in west London, said: "The companies are streamlining their neuroscience departments and one can understand why. But it is hugely disappointing because there is massive unmet need.
"There is a shift to symptomatic treatments instead of disease-modifying ones. There is a lot less energy in the system than there used to be. We need a success story – a catalyst – to make people feel there is something to work towards."
Alzheimer's affects an estimated 500,000 people in the UK (a further 300,000 have other forms of dementia) and tens of millions worldwide, with the numbers expected to triple by 2050. It causes amnesia, loss of language, mood changes, apathy, psychosis and aggression.
The latest trials are thought to have failed because the drugs were given to patients too late in the disease process to have an effect, or were unable to pick up subtle changes in cognition over a relatively short period.
Alzheimer's, which is marked by the build-up of sticky protein clumps – amyloid plaques – in the brain, is thought to take at least 15 years to develop and by the time symptoms appear, it is too late to reverse.
Existing drugs, such as donepezil (Aricept), have limited benefits.
They just Know how Obamacare works, no need to find a cure, they will just put us in Hospice. They won't be allowing for many cancer treatments, transplants or major surgeries after patients reach 70. What do you think the required life planning workshops are for every 5 years we will have to attend after we turn 65 is for...the convience us that that what we want, not to suffer .
(NaturalNews) My world is full of coconuts, including coconut oil and coconut milk. That's not unusual because I live on Maui. But I'm happily seeing coconut oil all over the internet as the treatment for dozens of conditions and possibly hundreds of symptoms.
My first clue as to the wonders of coconut oil came during my AIDS research in New York in the very early 1990's. Anecdotal reports started to pop up throughout the AIDS community about miraculous cures using coconut oil. To my mind, that's when the whole coconut oil industry opened up.
Before then, coconut oil was considered a "dangerous" saturated oil by the margarine promoters who set out to demonize butter. We know that ended in tears when it finally came out that the trans fats in margarine proved to be much more dangerous than any saturated fats.
My latest clue is the new book by Dr. Bruce Fife Stop Alzheimer's Now! that I just finished reading It's Dr. Fife's 9th book on the incredible benefits of coconut. Each year the research catches up with what he's known all along about the power of coconut oil and its completely non-toxic nature.
Dr. Fife's book presents a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases. The introduction by my friend Dr. Russell Blaylock is glowing with praise for Dr. Fife's work. And the body of the book gives a thorough overview of Alzheimer's and related diseases and then offers immense hope to people with these conditions.
As Dr. Fife's says on his website (www.coconutresearchcenter.org) "Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a 'functional food' because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called 'The Tree of Life.' Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut's amazing healing powers."
Dr. Fife says that "Nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as an effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine."
Coconut oil differs from other oils because it's rich in medium chain fatty acids that are utilized readily by the body for energy.
Fats and oils are called fatty acids and they are saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids. They can also be classified as short-chain (SCFA), medium-chain (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Another term you will often see in reference to fatty acids is triglyceride. Three fatty acids joined together make a triglyceride, so you may have short-chain (SCT), medium-chain (MCT), or long-chain triglycerides (LCT).
Most dietary fats and oils you eat, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or are sourced from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain triglycerides. Almost 100% of all the fats we eat are LCT.
Now here's the point about coconut oil. It's mostly an MCT fat. Medium-chain triglycerides are exceptionally easy to digest and absorb. In my experience they don't make you burp like other fats! They are easily digested and are used by the body as a quick source of energy. But at the same time these fats give your stomach a feeling of fullness allowing you to eat less.
Most MCT products are made from coconut oil. Since they are added to infant formulas and health recovery products and athletic products more research is being done on their beneficial effects of late.
Dr. Fife graciously allowed me to quote from his website the current research on coconut oil that confirms the following extensive list of benefits.
*Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
*Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
*Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
*Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
*Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
*Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
*Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
Digestion and Metabolism
*Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
*Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
*Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
*Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
*Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
*Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
*Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
*Helps protect against osteoporosis.
*Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
*Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
*Improves digestion and bowel function. (Clients tell me that taken 20 minutes before a meal, it relieves symptoms of heartburn and GERD.)
*Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
Boosts the Immune System
*Supports and aids immune system function.
*Supports tissue healing and repair.
*Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
*Functions as a protective antioxidant.
*Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
*Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
*Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
*Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
*Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
*Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
*Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
*Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
*Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
*Dissolves kidney stones.
*Helps prevent liver disease.
*Supports thyroid function.
*Reduces epileptic seizures.
Balances Body Weight
*Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
*Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
*Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
*Is lower in calories than all other fats.
Creates Healthy Skin and Hair
*Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
*Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
*Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
*Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
*Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
*Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
*Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
*Helps control dandruff.
I've also heard many anecdotal stories of coconut being used externally and internally for pets. Dogs and cats with debilitating skin rashes can be cured within days by applying coconut oil to their skin. If they lick it off, they get more benefits, not side effects as they would with cortisone creams.
What kind and how much coconut oil can you take to treat and prevent Alzheimer's and many other health conditions and treat hundreds of symptoms? The dosage used in most Alzheimer's studies is about 5 TBSP per day of extra virgin coconut oil. However, Dr. Fife told me that 1-3 TBSP is his recommendation for minor ailments and for maintenance.
How do you use coconut oil? You can substitute it in most recipes calling for oil; put it in your smoothie or protein powder drink (which is how I take it); or take it straight from the spoon.
Here's my favorite coconut recipe. Heat a TBSP each of coconut oil, coconut milk, cacao and a half teaspoon of honey and coat a frozen banana. You can roll it in coconut flakes and ground macadamia nuts then freeze for another 30 minutes. It makes a delicious coconut-saturated frozana!
About the author:
Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor. She has been in the forefront of the natural medicine revolution for over 30 years. She is the author / coauthor of 22 health books (print and eBooks) including The Magnesium Miracle, IBS for Dummies, IBS Cookbook for Dummies, The Yeast Connection and Women's Health, Future Health Now Encyclopedia, Death by Modern Medicine, Everything Alzheimers, and Hormone Balance.Dr. Dean is Medical Director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association.She has a free newsletter and a valuable online 2-year Wellness program called Completement Now! and a telephone consulting practice. Find out more at www.drcarolyndean.com
How does one get coconut oil to be in oil form? I bought some a few months ago, but it was almost rock hard, I couldn't spoon out even a tablespoon for use. Should it be kept on the kitchen counter or in the 'fridge? I've read it can be stored either way, even after opening.
I'd like to use it, but it was so frustrating not being able to get it out of the jar, I threw it out, even though it was expensive.
If it's liquid and not refrigerated, then why was it rock solid when I bought it, and it remained that way? It was sold in the same aisle as other oils (olive, veg, etc.).
I have used lot of coconut oil.
Coconut oil will start to soften around 70 F. It goes liquid around 72-74 F.
I always used a regular kitchen knife, when it was hard. You have to ram it in at an angle around the edges and break out chunks. It takes a bit of doing. Or leave it out in warmer temps (which I never did). If you leave it in warm temps all the time, then it needs to be use up relatively quickly, because it will go bad.
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