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  • Have You Got $181 Billion And Another Ten Years To Wait For This Alzheimer’s Cure?

    November 28, 2012: by Bill Sardi

    Researchers in Berlin, Germany claim the blockage of an immune system transmitter may prevent symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease by reduction of brain plaque known as beta amyloid and suggest Alzheimer’s sufferers wait while they test an existing FDA-approved drug that may even reverse existing disease.  A research study published in Nature Medicine says blockade of a gene target known as p40 was found to reduce beta amyloid brain plaque by 65% in laboratory mice. Striking hemispheric images of the brain of mice are presented at Science Daily to demonstrate the potential beneficial effect of p40 blockade.

    The existing p40-blocking drug, Stelar (ustekinumab), is a monoclonal-antibody that seeks out the cell receptor for p40 and blocks accessibility of immune system activators known as interleukins.  It is currently used to treat psoriasis, a chronic skin condition.

    Because Stelar is already an FDA-approved drug that has a safety profile dating back to 2009, these German researchers say human clinical studies can “proceed without delay.”  They say “the goal is to bring the new therapeutic approach to Alzheimer’s patients quickly.”  However, there should be hesitation as health insurance pools simply do not have sufficient funds to bear the cost of this mediation.  Medicare is projected to cost $617 billion in 2013 and adding hundreds of billions for just a single medication would bankrupt Medicare entirely.

    Ustekinumab is a very expensive drug, costing $33,576 for one year of treatment.  The cost to treat an estimated 5.4 million Alzheimer’s patients annually in the U.S. with a drug like this would exceed $181 billion a year.

    There is a far more economical alternative, resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-troll), known as a red wine molecule, which is a natural p40 suppressor.

    It would still require a large long-term controlled trial lasting a few years to recruit, treat and evaluate a sufficient number of patients in a drug trial to prove ustekinumab as a safe and effective drug for Alzheimer’s disease.  Do families with loved ones who suffer from this disease have time to wait for modern medicine to put such an expensive drug to a test?  Various brands of resveratrol pills are widely available at health food stores nationwide.  ©2012 Bill Sardi

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