Diagnosing and treating patients more effectively earlier will, even if you aren’t able to instigate a cure, offer the ability to modify the disease progression and slow or delay when brain damage occurs. In the case of Alzheimer’s, once the amyloid plaques (tangles of misshapen proteins) have accumulated in nervous tissue, it has so far been impossible to untangle or remove them.
Several retired American Football stars have ended up with chronic traumatic encephalophy (CTE), previously known as dementia pugilistica. It’s similar to Alzheimer’s disease in that the brain ends up with neurofibrillary tangles.
CTE has also been seen in soldiers who have experienced blast induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). I previously wrote on this blog about how nanotechnology may revolutionize the detection of TBI using a nanomaterial that changes color.
Research published in the May 16, 2012 issue of Science Translational Magazine by Lee Goldstein and colleagues from the Molecular Aging and Development Laboratory at Boston University & other institutions, compared CTE neuropathology in blast-exposed military veterans and athletes with repetitive concussion injury.
India to me conjures up thoughts of curry, cricket and call centers. When I think about the Indian pharmaceutical industry, global manufacturers of generics such as Ranbaxy, Natco and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories come to mind.
What I don’t associate India with, is pharmaceutical drug discovery and the development of new drugs.
Pharmaceutical R&D is not only expensive, but requires a high-degree of expertise and comes with a high risk of failure.
Companies in the United States, Europe and Japan still develop most new drugs.
My mother has Alzheimer’s disease – I first suspected some form of dementia when her friends told me that she didn’t dance anymore. Of course she insisted she did, but it was clear she had “forgotten” the steps in a way that was beyond the forgetfulness of getting older.
As a European snow bird she would travel to Malta each year to escape the damp, grey English winters. One year when I visited her in Malta, I noticed when she went up to the hotel dinner buffet, she could not “remember” where to return to.
The fourteenth annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference takes place next week (February 13-14, 2012) in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. I will be commuting from New Jersey so will not be experiencing at first hand the charm of staying at this iconic hotel.
The focus of the meeting is on publicly-traded biotechnology companies, and provides an opportunity for investors, analysts and industry executives to hear company presentations, undertaken one-on-one partnering discussions and listen to pharmaceutical industry leaders present their vision of the future.
In a letter to the science journal Nature, published online on August 21, 2011, scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago report findings that could help develop drugs for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS is a progressive, fatal, degenerative motor neurone disease, which results in the inability to walk, get out of bed, move arms, hands, swallow or chew. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive functions are not usually impaired, making it a particularly nasty disease when faced with awareness of disease progression.
It’s a fact of human life that we lose physical and mental function as we get older. In the information age that we currently live in, this translates into a decline in our ability to function and perform the activities of daily living. Can we halt or delay age-related memory loss?
I am excited to be attending, for the first time, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) international convention that takes place in Washington DC in just over a week’s time from Monday June 27 to Thursday, June 30th.
This meeting has something for everyone interested in the biotechnology industry whether it be deal making, partnering, licensing, drug discovery or personalized medicine. There are 16 specialized tracks where industry experts provide insight and best practices.
In addition, there are numerous networking and social events plus an exhibit hall that showcases the world’s biotech regions and how they are promoting innovation.
Due to the pressure of other commitments, I only had the pleasure of attending the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) for two days, but one of my key take home messages from the meeting is how we can use the eye as a window into the brain. This is particularly relevant to Alzheimer’s research.
ARVO researchers at a lunchtime workshop that I attended asked the question of what can we learn from shared disease mechanisms in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Glaucoma to devise therapies of the future?
The highlight of the recent Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) annual meeting in Philadelphia (Health Journalism 2011) for me was the presentation by Kacy Cullen from the Center for Brain Injury and Repair in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr Cullen presented his research on blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) and the development of a nanomaterial containing photonic crystals that change color upon exposure to blast pressure.