Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 231 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 19-Aug-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 20-Aug-2003
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Alzheimer's: Searching for a cure
There is no cure for AD, but there are drugs to treat some of the symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration has approved four prescription drugs for people with mild to moderate AD: Cognex (tacrine), Aricept (donepezil), Exelon (rivastigmine), and Reminyl (galantamine). "All of them work by the same mechanism," says Russell Katz, M.D., director of the FDA's Division of Neuropharmacological Drug Products. The drugs increase the level in the brain of acetylcholine--a chemical that nerves use to communicate with each other. more

Study suggests dramatically rising numbers of people with Alzheimer’s disease
Scientists project that some 13.2 million older Americans will have Alzheimer's disease (AD) by 2050 unless new ways are found to prevent or treat the disease. According to these latest estimates of the current and future prevalence of AD, reported by Denis A. Evans, M.D., and colleagues of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, the numbers of older people with AD -- now at 4.5 million – will grow dramatically as the population ages. more


Neurons involved in drug addiction relapse identified; May aid research direction and treatment strategies
Environmental cues associated with prior drug use can provoke a relapse. In a new study, scientists have linked the relapse behavior to specific nerve cells in a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. The findings may foster further research into what makes long-abstinent drug users prone to relapse and lead the way to new strategies for treating drug addiction.  more

Promising West Nile virus vaccine protects monkeys
Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have created a promising vaccine against West Nile virus by replacing parts of a distantly related virus with proteins from the West Nile virus. The NIAID research team replaced proteins in a virus known as dengue type 4 with the corresponding West Nile virus proteins, creating a hybrid virus vaccine that protects monkeys from West Nile infection, they report in a paper to be published in the September issue of the journal Virology and currently available online.  more

CRP increases in children as weight increases
There is a significant association between body mass index and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in children, according to a study in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. "This finding suggests that the inflammatory component of heart disease might be present very early in life," says Earl S. Ford, M.D., M.P.H., medical officer in the Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.  more

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