Timeline Trivia / Brain-Wasting Diseases, Etc.
1970s - "Researchers say they've found more evidence of a link between a rapid rise in obesity and a corn product [high-fructose corn sweetener] used to sweeten soft drinks and food since the 1970s." [Based on: A.P. article, 03/26/04]
1986 - 1st Diagnosed / Mad Cow Disease - "Mad cow, first diagnosed in 1986 in the United Kingdom, is thought to have resulted from the feeding of meat and bone meal containing infected sheep parts to cattle. The outbreak probably was then made worse by 'amplification' - feeding meat-and-bone meal made from those cattle to young calves. [....]" [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1986 - 1st Confirmed / Mad Cow Disease - November 1986: "BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, is first confirmed in the U.K." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1988 - Ruminants Banned / Cattle Feed, U.K. - July 1988: "Meat and bone meal made from ruminants (grazing animals) is banned from inclusion into cattle feed in the U.K." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1989 - Ban / Ruminant Animal Importation / U.S.A. - July 1989: "The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bans the importation of ruminant animals from countries with confirmed cases of BSE." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1991 - Ban / At-Risk Ruminant By-Products, U.S.A. - December 1991: "The USDA bans at-risk by-products of ruminant origin from countries known to have BSE." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1993 - Expanded / Mad Cow Surveillance, U.S.A. - December 1993: "The U.S. mad cow surveillance program is expanded to include examination of brain tissue from 'downer' cows. [....]" [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1993 - Trivia / Mad Cow Epidemic, United Kingdom - January 1993: "In January 1993: the mad cow epidemic in U.K. peaks with 1,000 new cases reported per week." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1996 - Trivia / Mad Cow Prevention, U.S.A. - March 1996: "National livestock organizations and professional animal health organizations in the U.S. announce a voluntary program to discontinue use of ruminant-derived protein in ruminant feed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA announce their intentions to determine if additional regulations are necessary to prevent the introduction or amplification of the BSE agent in the United States." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
1997 - Approved to Treat Alzheimer's / Aricept - 1997: "[....] The drug [Aricept] was approved in 1997 and is the most commonly prescribed drug used to treat Alzheimer's. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (11 died while taking Alzheimer's drug), p. A26, S.L.P.D., 03/18/06]
2000 - Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency / TSE, U.S.A. - July 2000: "The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture issues a Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency after four sheep in Vermont test positive for Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). The sheep came from one of three flocks that have been quarantined by the state of Vermont since 1998 after learning the sheep may have been exposed to BSE-contaminated feed in Belgium and the Netherlands, from where they originated." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
2000 - 1st Case/ Mad Cow Disease, Spain - November 22nd, 2000: "In Spain the government reported its 1st case of mad cow disease. On November 24th, Germany and the Portuguese Azores Islands recorded new cases of mad cow disease. Main land Portugal has reported 467 cases since 1990."
2000 - Ban / Rendered Animal Imports, U.S.A. - December 2000: "U.S. government bans all imports of rendered animal protein products from Europe, regardless of species." [Based on: St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/01]
2001 - Mad Cow Crisis / Britain - January 8th, 2001: "It was reported that Britain was culling 20-30 thousand older cows per week in the mad cow crises and that it would take 3 years to catch up with the backlog for rendering their remains to powder."
2001 - Mad Cow Crisis / Germany - January 31st, 2001: "In Germany plans were announced to destroy 400,000 cattle due to the mad cow crises."
2001 - Mad Cow Disease / Japan - September 10th, 2001: "In Japan the government reported that a dairy cow had tested positive for mad-cow disease. It was the 1st instance of the disease in Asian animals."
2001 - 2nd Case / Mad Cow Disease, Japan - November 22nd, 2001: "Japan confirmed a 2nd mad cow case and planned to slaughter and incinerate 5,100 cows. "
2002 - 1st Case / Mad Cow Disease, Italy - February 5th, 2002: "In Italy the health ministry confirmed the country's 1st case of mad cow disease."
2003 - 1st Case / Mad Cow Disease, Canada - May 2003: "Canada's first case of mad cow surfaced in May 2003." [Based on: News Services, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A11, 01/12/05]
2003 - 1st Case? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - December 27th, 2003: "WASHINGTON - U.S. agriculture officials said Friday [12/26/03] they had quarantined the offspring of the slaughtered Holstein that tested positive for mad cow disease. The government was trying to reassure the public about the saftey of the U.S. food supply as it faces a wide ban on U.S. beef by countries that account for 90 percent of American beef exports. The recall of more than 10,000 pounds of meat from the cow and others slaughtered Dec. 9th at the same Washington state company was also continuing." [Based on: A.P. article by Mark Sherman]
*Trivia: "[....] Ranching practices that are known to increase the risk of infection - including using cow blood and other animal matter in feed - are still in use because the Food and Drug Administration still hasn't published rules outlawing them. The FDA promised to change those rules last January  after a Washington state dairy cow tested positive for mad cow disease [got milk?] in late December. In July, the agency said it was looking into a broader ban, but it failed to publish new rules that would have stopped practices known to increase the risk. That makes no sense.
"There still is no tracking system in place to document where an animal is from and where its meat has gone. Last December , the infected cow was identified only after its meat had been distributed. Even now, no one can say for certain whether any of that meat was consumed. [....] The United States tests fewer than 1 percent of the 35 million cows slaughtered in the country each year. In Europe, all animals over 30 months old are tested. Here, the only mandatory testing is done at slaughter-houses. Testing of cattle on ranches is voluntary [....]" [Editorial Section, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B6, 11/24/04] - [Note: brackets text added by E.M.]
2003 - Banned Cattle / United States - December 31st, 2003: "WASHINGTON - To bolster confidence in U.S. beef, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman has banned sick and injured cattle - those at the highest risk to have mad cow disease - from the nation's food supply." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]
2004 - Mad Cow Disease? / U.S.A. - January 7th, 2004: "No sign of mad cow disease was found in an animal singled out in a preliminary screening last week and then subjected to a follow-up chemical test, the Agriculture Department said Wednesday [06/30/04]. Officials declined to provide additional information about the animal. Test results on a second animal that was possibly being infected will not be available for several days." [News Services, 01/07/04]
2004 - Mad Cow Status? / United States - January 20th, 2004: "The government has now found 23 of the herd of 81 Canadian cattle that included the Holstein discovered in the United States with mad cow disease, the Agriculture department said Monday [01/19/04]." [News Services]
2004 - New Form? / Mad Cow Disease, Italy - February 17th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Italian scientists have found a second form of mad cow disease that more closely resembles the human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease than the usual cow form of the illness. [....] Both the human and cattle diseases cause holes to form in the brain. The Italian researchers found that, in addition to the holes, two cows had an accumulation of amyloid plaque in their brains. Amyloid plaques are an indication of Alzheimer's disease in humans. They have also been found in people with sporadic CJD but had not been found in cattle, the researchers said. Mad cow disease is formally known as BSE - bovine spongiform encephalopathy - and the Italians named the new form with plaques BASE." [A.P.]
2004 - "Tentative Finding" / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - June 27th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Government and beef industry officials urged consumers Saturday [06/26/04] not to worry about the safety of meat following a tentative finding of mad cow disease. Further testing is under way to verify the initial tests. [....] A screening test designed to give rapid results had indicated the animal had mad cow, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Such tests cannot confirm whether the animal truly had the brain-wasting disease, so the department labels the results inconclusive. [....] The new preliminary results announced Friday [06/25/04] was done at an unidentified regional laboratory under an expanded BSE surveilance program. Under the new system, the department was increasing testing by about tenfold, to more than 200,000 animals, over 12 to 18 months. The regional labs, run by states, began their work June 1, and Clifford said more than 7,000 cattle have been tested under the expanded system. [....] The infectious agent for BSE is not in beef, and tissues that could contain the agent are not allowed in the food supply, said Janet Riley, a spokeswoman for the American Meat Institute, a trade group." [based on: A.P.]
2004 - No Sign? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - July 1st, 2004: "No sign of mad cow disease was found in an animal singled out in a preliminary screening last week and then subjected to a follow-up chemical test, the Agriculture Department said Wednesday [06/30/04]. Officials declined to provide additional information about the animal. Test results on a second animal that was possibly being infected will not be available for several days [the results were eventually ruled negative by 07/02/04]." [News Services, 07/01/04]
2004 - Cattle Parts Ban? / U.S.A. - July 10th, 2004: "Closing loopholes in protections against mad cow disease, the Food and Drug Administration on Friday [07/10/04] banned brains and other cattle parts that could carry the disease's infectious agent from use in cosmetics and dietary supplements. [....] However, the use of tallow, a processed fat made from cattle, still will be allowed provided it carries less than 0.15 percent impurities. Tallow is used in cosmetics." [Based on: News Services]
2004 - 3rd Case / Mad Cow Disease, Japan - September 14th, 2004: "Japan has confirmed a new case of mad cow disease, the third discovery of the brain-wasting illness in the country this year, an official said Monday [09/13/04]." [Based on: News Services]
2004 - 8th Victim / Mad Cow Disease, France - October 21st, 2004: "In France, a blood donor has been identified as France's eighth known victim of the human equivalent of mad cow disease." [E.M.]
2004 - Another Possible Case? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - November 19th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Another possible case of mad cow disease has been found in the United States, the Agriculture Department said Thursday [11/18/04]." [New York Times]
*Trivia: "No sign of mad cow disease was found in an animal the agriculture department had signaled out for follow-up tests, officials said Tuesday [11/23/04]. Initial screenings last week had raised the possibility of a new case of the disease in the United States. A more definitive test at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, came back negative, the officials said. The announcement was a relief to the U.S. beef industry, which is still trying to recover from the nation's first case of the disease last December ." [News Services]
*Trivia: "The government is checking [June 2005] a potential case of mad cow disease in the United States in an animal previously cleared of being infected, the Agriculture Department said Friday [06/10/05]. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said more tests were needed to confirm the disease, but he said that the animal did not enter the food supply. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. 27, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/11/05]
*Trivia: "Senior congressional Democrats on food and farm issues asked Monday [06/13/05] why the Agriculture Department suddenly ordered new tests on tissue from a cow declared free of mad cow disease seven months ago [November 2004?]. Now, a brain sample from the cow is being sent to England for further study because a third round of tests came back positive late Friday [06/10/05]. The Agriculture Department's inspector general suddenly ordered those tests last week. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A13, 06/14/05]
2005 - Trivia / Alzheimer's Disease - "Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain in which nerve cells deteriorate and die for unknown reasons. [....] The rate of progression of Alzheimer's varies, ranging from 3 to 20 years; the average length of time from onset of symptoms until death is 8 years. [....] Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 4.5 million Americans, striking men and women of all ethnic groups. Although most people diagnosed with Alzheimer's are older than age 60, some cases occur in people in their 40s and 50s. An estimated 10 percent of the population over age 65 have Alzheimer's, and the disease affects almost half of those over 85. In the United States, annual costs of diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care are estimated at $100 billion. [....] Treatments for cognitive and behavioral symptoms are available, but no intervention has yet been developed that prevents Alzheimer's or reverses its course. [....]" [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 94] [Link: ]
2005 - 2nd Case / Mad Cow Disease, Canada - January 3rd, 2005: "TORONTO - Canada confirmed its second case of mad cow disease on Sunday [01/02/05], just days after the United States said it planned to reopen its border to Canadian beef. [....] The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the infected cow did not enter the human food or animal feed supply and posed no risk to the public. Authorities said the cow was born in Alberta in 1996, before the introduction of the 1997 feed ban. It is suspected that the animal became infected by contaminated feed before the ban. BSE is a chronic, degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system of cattle. Since it was first diagnosed in Britain in 1986, there have been more than 180,000 cases. Before the trade ban, animals regularly crossed the border and Canada sold more than 70 percent of its live cattle to the United States. That market was worth $1.5 billion in 2002. [....] The discovery in Washington state a year ago is the only confirmed case of mad cow disease in the United States." [A.P.]
*Trivia: "[....] Canada revealed Sunday [01/02/05] that an 8-year-old dairy cow in Alberta tested positive for the brain-wasting illness, confirming preliminary test results released last week. [....]" [News Services]
2005 - Trivia / Brain-Wasting Diseases - January 5th, 2005: "Halting brain cell suicide won't stop prion diseases similar to mad cow disease, Washington University [Mo.] researchers say. The discovery suggests that drugs for human diseases related to mad cow disease must do more than keep brain cells alive to be a cure. It may also mean that prion diseases and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, do other damage to brain cells before killing them. The results of the study appeared Tuesday [01/04/05] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [....] The diseases result when a normal brain protein, PrP, folds into a disease-causing shape. The prion proteins clump together in fibrils and form plaques. The brain cells, especially cerebellar granule neurons, which control movement and balance, begin to die. [....]" [Based on: article by Tina Hesman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A4, 01/05/05]
2005 - Confirmed Mad Cow / Alberta, Canada - January 12th, 2005: "Authorities confirmed on Tuesday [01/11/05] another case of mad cow disease in Alberta, the second this month. [...] Canadian officials said no part of the cow has entered the human or animal feed system. [....] Canada's first case of mad cow surfaced in May 2003." [From News Services, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A11, 01/12/05]
2005 - Research Trivia / Mad Cow Disease - January 21st, 2005: "NEW YORK - Mad cow disease has long been thought to occur in just the brains and nervous systems of infected animals. But scientists are reporting today that the proteins thought to cause the disease can travel to other organs as well. The research is based on experiments with mice, but if the finding is born out in other species, it may suggest that no part of an infected animal is safe to eat. The disease leads to a fatal brain infection in humans. [....]" [Based on: New York Times article posted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A12, 01/21/05 - right beside the [rest of the] article about Alzheimer's disease - depicting a large syringe next to the head of a mouse, a nerve cell, and damaged brain tissue.]
2005 - Research Trivia / Alzheimer's Disease - January 21st, 2005: "Some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may be reversible, suggests new research from Washington University [Mo.]. [....] About 4.5 million people in the United States have the debilitating memory-robbing disease, and the number is expected to grow as the population ages. [....] No one knows whether antibody therapy could help people with Alzheimer's disease. Clinical trials of antibodies against beta-amyloid were halted when some people developed serious side effects. But scientists are now testing a variety of drugs aimed at stopping plaque formation or breaking them up, Gandy [Samuel Gandy, director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia] said." [....] [Based on: article by Tina Hesman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, pp. A1 & A12, 01/21/05]
2005 - Trivia / Detection of Alzheimer's Disease - February 1st, 2005: "A highly sensitive new test could lead to a different way to diagnose people with Alzheimer's disease, possibly helping find the illness in its early stages when there might be time for treatment [....] The test can detect small amounts of proteins in spinal fluid. The team's findings are reported in today's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science." [News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A4]
2005 - 1st Human Victim / Mad Cow Disease, Japan - February 5th, 2005: "TOKYO - Japan's first human victim of mad cow disease probably contracted it during a month-long visit to Britain in 1939, authorities said Friday [02/054/05]. The confirmation - which was revealed after the man died of the fatal brain-wasting disease in December - is likely to further alarm a public skittish about food safety. It also probably will complicate U.S. efforts to persuade Tokyo to lift a yearlong ban on American beef imports. [....] The human variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease has an incubation period of 10 years or more. A positive diagnosis often does not occur until the patient dies and can be autopsied. [....]" [A.P.]
2005 - Questionable Meat? / U.S.A. - February 17th, 2005: "The Agriculture Department allowed Canada to export 42,000 pounds of questionable meat into the United States despite restrictions in place since the discovery of mad cow disease in Canada, department investigators said Wednesday [02/16/05]. The investigation resulted from a federal judge ruling in April preventing the department from expanding Canadian beef imports. [....]" [Based on: News Services]
2005 - Status / Canadian Beef Ban, U.S.A. - March 3rd, 2005: "A federal judge issued a court order blocking the U.S. government's plan to reopen the border to Canadian cattle March 7. [....] The government had planned to allow imports of cattle from Canada less than 30 months old, easing a ban imposed in May 2003 after an animal in Alberta was found with mad cow disease." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/03/05]
2005 - Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer's Disease - March 2005: "Do you enjoy a nice big steak? Juicy hamburgers? Enjoy them while you can. If even half of Colm Kelleher’s Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease is true, the writing’s on the wall for our lives as carnivores. [....] For the historical detail alone, this is an important and readable book on the subject. Kelleher’s true genius, however, is in his ability to speculate, convincingly, that the 8,902 percent increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease over the past twenty-four years [since 1981?] can be attributed to this infectious agent’s presence in the human food chain. As if that weren’t disturbing enough, Kelleher also relates how one of the early pioneers in the field, the highly respected Gajdusek, simply carried vials of different strains of scrapie and kuru from Great Britain into the United States, disregarding USDA rules. From 1963 through 1970 he and other researchers injected a wide variety of animals with those materials at their laboratory in the middle of a wildlife refuge in Patuxent, Maryland. Just picture it: hundreds of animals, some as small as mice, all infected and housed together in converted barns/labs in the middle of a heavily animal-populated refuge. Look no further, Kelleher suggests, for the origin of this family of diseases on the North American continent. [....]"
[Based on: http://www.bookslut.com/nonfiction/2005_03_004689.php]
*Other Links: http://www.colmkelleher.com/
2005 - Investigation / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - June 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The government is checking a potential case of mad cow disease in the United States in an animal previously cleared of being infected, the Agriculture Department said Friday [06/10/05]. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said more tests were needed to confirm the disease, but he said that the animal did not enter the food supply. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. 27, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/11/05]
*Trivia: "Senior congressional Democrats on food and farm issues asked Monday [06/13/05] why the Agriculture Department suddenly ordered new tests on tissue from a cow declared free of mad cow disease seven months [November 2004?] ago. Now, a brain sample from the cow is being sent to England for further study because a third round of tests came back positive late Friday [06/10/05]. The Agriculture Department's inspector general suddenly ordered those tests last week. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A13, 06/14/05]
2005 - Trivia / U.S. Cattle Feed - June 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - American cattle continue to eat chicken litter, cattle blood and restaurant leftovers that could help transmit mad cow disease - a gap in the U.S. defense that the federal government promised to close nearly 18 months ago. The USDA is now investigating another possible case of mad cow disease in the United States. The beef cow had been tested and declared free of the disease in November , but new tests came up positive, and a laboratory in England is conducting more tests. The Food and Drug Administration promised to tighten feed rules shortly after the first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the United States, in a Washington state cow in December 2003. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. 20, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/18/05]
2005 - Confirmed / 2nd Case of Mad Cow, U.S.A. - June 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Exhaustive tests have confirmed mad cow disease in a Texas animal, officials said Friday [06/24/05]. It is the second case of the disease confirmed in this country, but Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said the case was not a threat to public health. The animal, a 'downer' that could not walk, was not killed at a slaughterhouse but at a rendering plant for animals unfit for human consumption, officials said. Johanns would not say where the case turned up, but he said there was no evidence the cow was imported. [....] An internationally recognized laboratory in Weybridge, England, confirmed the case Friday after U.S. tests produced conflicting results, Johanns said. Initial screening had indicated the presence of the disease, but the animal was tested and cleared of having the brain-wasting illness. New tests were ordered two weeks ago. Those results, from a test known as the Western blot, came back positive, leading officials to seek confirmation from the Weybridge lab. The department also performed more tests at its lab in Ames, Iowa. Mad cow disease - medically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE - kills brain cells and leaves spongy holes behind. A form of the disease in people is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It has been linked to the consumption of of contaminated meat. The disease has killed about 150 people worldwide, mostly in Britain. [....] Johanns said the department had not yet learned where the animal was born and spent its nine years of life. Earlier, however, the department identified the diseased animal as one previously reported in mid-November, and USDA records show that the animal came from Texas. Officials said the brain tissue samples appeared different from the classical form of mad cow disease seen in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1990s. Even so, they are classifying it as mad cow disease. Johanns said his department would start conducting the more sensitive Western blot test as a matter of routine. The department has been criticized by consumer groups and cattlemen for not resolving conflicting test results on this animal las November." [Based on: A.P. article by Libby Quaid, S.L.P.D., p. 23, 06/25/05]
Trivia: Mad cow risk to people is only "minor concern," experts say [Based on: A.P. article [big bold letters] headline, S.L.P.D., p. A7, 06/26/05]
2005 - USDA Pledge to Perform Sophisticated Test? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - June 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pledging that, from now on, it will conduct a sophisticated test to detect mad cow disease on suspicious animals. Such a test on a beef cow that turned out to have the nation's second case would have helped resolve conflicting results from two initial screenings, but the U.S. refused to perform it in November . That additional test, ordered by the Agriculture Department's internal watchdog, ended up detecting the disease - a finding that was confirmed on Friday [06/24/05] by the world's pre-eminent lab, in England. Only 18 months ago, the department had used the test, called the Western blot, to help uncover the first American case of the brain-wasting illness in cows. In the case of the second cow, U.S. officials in November  had declared the cow free of the disease even though one of the two tests - an initial screening known as a rapid test - indicated the presence of the disease. A more sophisticated follow-up - immunohistochemistry, or IHC - came back negative. 'They had two diametrically opposed results which begged to be resolved,' said Paul W. Brown, a former scientist at the national Institutes of Health who worked on mad cow-related issues. In a letter to Consumers Union in March , the department said there was no need for the British lab to confirm the results and that the Western blot test would not have given a more accurate reading. Troubled by the conflicting test results, the department's inspector general, Phyllis Fong, ordered the Western blot test this month [June 2005]. By the time an aide notified Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, the testing was under way. The testing was positive. The department then sent tissue samples to the British lab, which subjected the samples to all the tests again. Johanns, amid an uproar from the cattle industry, was irked that Fong ordered the third test without his knowledge or consent. 'From my standpoint, I believe I was put there to operate the department and was very disappointed,' he told reporters Friday morning. Johanns, who took over the department in January , later said the government will use both the IHC and Western blot tests from now on when initial screening indicates an animal may have the disease." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/27/05] - [As with nearly all articles on this timeline, paragraph indents were removed to save space - E.M.]
2005 - Reporting Cattle Diseases? / U.S.A. - July 3rd, 2005: "Some cattle producers are likely disposing of cattle that may have mad cow disease without notifying federal authorities, ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma said. U.S. slaughterhouses last year received 81,000 head of cattle too sick to stand, a 21 percent drop from 2003, U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show. Some of the decline can be traced to the government requirement that such downer animals be tested for mad cow disease, said Wes Sims, the head of the Texas Farmers Union. The rule was instituted six months after the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was found in December 2003. Some ranchers quietly dispose of suspect animals because they fear the loss of income that would result from quarantine should mad cow disease be confirmed, said Sims, who owns about 300 head of cattle near Sweetwater, Texas. The Agriculture Department urges ranchers to report dead, dying or diseased cows either through a toll-free number on the agency's Web site or by contacting state agriculture agencies." [Based on: Bloomberg News article, S.L.P.D., p. A4, 07/03/05]
2005 - 29 Cows Killed & Tested / Texas Herd - July 9th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The government has killed 29 cows from the herd of the Texas cow infected with mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department said Friday [07/08/05] Investigators have been working to identify offspring and herd mates born within a year of the infected cow's birth. The infected cow was a 12-year-old Brahma cross beef cow. Twenty-nine adult cows were removed from the herd Wednesday [07/06/05], the department said. They were put to death, and tissue samples were removed for testing, the department said. The samples will undergo screening referred to as a 'rapid test.' If the results indicate the presence of mad cow disease, two additional tests will be done. [....] Also under investigation is the feed history of the Texas herd because the only way mad cow disease is known to spread among cattle is through the feeding of infected brain and nerve tissue. Ground-up cattle remains once were commonly used as a protein ingredient but were banned from use in cattle feed in 1997." [Based on: A.P., 07/09/05]
2005 - Canadian Cow Imports / U.S.A. - July 15th, 2005: "A federal appeals court ruled Thursday [07/14/05] that Canadian cattle can again be imported to the United States, dismissing a lower court decision that resuming the imports could spread mad cow disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture was not immediately available to comment on when it would allow shipments of Canadian cattle to resume. The imports were banned in May 2003 after a cow in Alberta was found to have mad cow disease. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a Montana judge who blocked the USDA from reopening the border in March, saying it 'subjects the entire U.S. beef industry to potentially catastrophic damages' and 'presents a genuine risk of death for U.S. consumers.' " [Based on: News Services]
2005 - Trivia / Blackouts & Memory - August 24th, 2005: "After a bout of heavy drinking, you awaken with no memory of the night's events. Classic case of alcohol blackout. But did you simply forget? Dr. Donal Sweeney says no. What really happens is that you formed no memory of those events: Immediate memory is not becoming short - or long-term memory. [....] In his book ['The Alcohol Blackout: Walking, Talking, Unconscious & Lethal'], Sweeney draws on extreme cases to make his point and examines the neurological condition. A young man is extremely fatigued, gets drunk at a party and kills motorists in New Jersey. Another young man in Westchester County, N.Y., has a night of drinking gone awry, returns to his childhood home and kills the house's new residents. What Sweeney's subjects have in common is a complete lack of memory concerning the circumstances that got them into trouble. 'They certainly don't mean to get in trouble, but they get in trouble because their brains are not working,' Sweeney says. [....] It's a mistake to associate blackouts with passing out. The blacked-out person can appear to carry on normal tasks: walk, talk and drive a car. [....] Because the person experiencing blackout isn't thinking rationally, Sweeney says others should avoid confrontation and suggest sleep. But how to tell if someone is in a blackout? Sweeney says to ask the person to remember a simple phrase. If 10 minutes later he can't remember the words, consider the person in a blackout." [Based on: The Stanford Advocate article by Ray Hogan, p. E3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 08/24/05] - [As with most articles on this timeline, paragraph indents were removed to save space - E.M.]
2005 - Trivia / Alzheimer's & Daydreaming? - August 24th, 2005: "[....] A new Washington University study shows that the part of your brain used to daydream is the first to be attacked by Alzheimer's. A team of scientists from Washington University [Mo.] and the University of Pittsburgh used five imaging techniques to map the brains of 746 people. The researchers found that parts of the brain involved in daydreaming, musing, mulling and reliving memories in young people were the first places where neuron-damaging plaques are deposited in people on the brink of dementia. The data could mean that thought wears down more active regions of the brain, leaving them vulnerable to attack from Alzheimer's. The finding, published today [08/24/05] in the Journal of Neuroscience, seems to run counter to the popular keep-your-brain-active theory for staving off the degenerative brain disease. [....] The new study is the first to correlate images showing where amyloid plaques congregate with brain function maps. [....] [Based on: article by Tina Hesman, p. A10, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 08/24/05]
2005 - Trivia / Mad Cow Infection, Texas - August 31st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The government on Tuesday [08/31/05] closed its investigation into the nation's first domestic case of mad cow disease, saying it could not pin down how a Texas cow was infected with the brain-wasting ailment. Officials continue to believe the 12-year-old Brahma cross cow ate contaminated feed before the United States banned from cattle feed ground-up cattle remains. The only way the disease is known to spread is through eating brain and other nerve tissue from already infected cows. Food and Drug Administration official Steve Sundlof said the most likely culprit was tainted feed eaten before the 1997 ban. The texas-born cow tested positive in June. The investigation into the animal's herd mates and offspring found that 147 were presumed to have been slaughtered for food, feed or other use, and 21 could not be traced. In all, the government traced 413 animals in its investigation. Also Tuesday [08/30/05], officials agreed to let the industry run a nationwide system of tracking the movements of cows, pigs and chickens from birth to the dinner table. The Agriculture Department promised to hustle the system into place after discovering the nation's first case of mad cow disease in December 2003 in an imported cow believed to have been infected in Canada, where it was born. 'It simply makes good sense for producers to design and maintain that piece of the system,' Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 08/31/05]
2005 - Human Remains Spread Mad Cow Disease? - September 2nd, 2005: "LONDON - A new theory proposes that mad cow disease may have come from feeding British cattle with meal contaminated by human remains infected with a variation of the disease. The hypothesis was outlined this week in The Lancet medical journal. It suggests that the infected cattle feed came from the Indian subcontinent, where bodies sometimes are ceremonially thrown into the Ganges River. [....] The cause of the original case or cases of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is unknown. But it belongs to a class of illnesses called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs. Such illnesses exist in several species. Scrapie is a TSE that affects sheep and goats, while chronic wasting disease afflicts elk and deer. A handful of TSEs are found in humans, including Kuru, Alper's disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD. All TSEs are fatal, untreatable and undiagnosable until after death. They are called spongiform encephalopathies because the diseases involve spongy degeneration of the brain. The disease was not known to infect cows until 1986, when the first cases were noticed in Britain. About a decade later, a new permutation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - which scientists dubbed variant CJD - started showing up in people there. Experts believe this new variant came from eating beef products infected with mad cow disease. But where the cows got the disease remains a mystery. The most popular theory is that cattle, which are vegetarian, were fed meal containing sheep remains, passing scrapie from sheep to cows, where it eventually evolved into a cow-specific disease. Another theory is that cows just developed the disease spontaneously, without catching it from another species. However, two British scientists now propose that the origin may be the bones of people infected with classical CJD, which they theorize ended up in cattle feed imported from South Asia. Britain imported hundreds of thousands of tons of whole bones, crushed bones and carcass parts to be used for fertilizer and animal feed during the 1960s and 1970s. Nearly half of that came from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, said the scientists, led by Alan Colchester, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Kent in England. 'In India and Pakistan, gathering large bones and carcasses from the land and from rivers has long been an important local trade for peasants,' the scientists wrote. 'Collectors encounter considerable quantities of human as well as animal remains as a result of religious customs.' Hindus believe remains should be disposed of in a river, preferably the Ganges." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A13, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/02/05] - [Paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]
2005 - Easing Prevention Rules? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - September 8th, 2005: "The government is easing rules intended to prevent the spread of mad cow disease among people, allowing part of a cow's small intestine to be used as casing for some sausages. [....] The rules still prohibit use of the lower end section of the small intestine, called the distal ileum. Studies have shown the distal ileum can contain the infectious protein that causes mad cow disease." [Based on: News Services article, p. A4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/08/05]
2005 - "Thinking the Hurt Away" - September 10th, 2005:
When it comes to pain control, a dose of positive thinking goes a long way, according to researchers who have found that many of the same brain areas that respond to severe pain also respond to mere expectations of pain. This commonality provides a neural route for the mind to quell pain and could explain the pain-fighting power of placebos, the scientists say.
"Pain emerges from the interaction between signals coming from an injured body region and cognitive information unique to each individual, such as expectations about what that pain will feel like," says neuroscientist Robert C. Coghill of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. He and his coworkers report their results in the Sept. 6 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For their study, Coghill and his colleagues recruited 10 volunteers, ages 24 to 46, and fitted each with a device that delivered heat pulses to the lower right leg. [....]
As the magnitude of expected pain increased, brain regions associated with learning, memory, emotion, and tactile sensation became more active. Areas of neural activation measured while volunteers actually experienced pain largely corresponded to areas activated by the expectation. [....]
The new report "underscores the biological fact that pain is not merely a passive response to tissue damage or potential tissue damage," remarks neuroscientist Donald D. Price of the University of Florida's College of dentistry in Gainesville. "Its magnitude is partly determined by ongoing expectations." [....]
[Based on: Science News (09/10/05, Vol. 168. No. 11) article by B. Bower, pp. 164 - 165]
2005 - Proposal to Ban Cattle Parts from Animal Feed / U.S.A. - October 5th, 2005: "The administration of President George W. Bush proposed Tuesday [10/04/05] to eliminate cattle parts from feed for all animals - including chickens, pigs and pets - to close a gap in the nation's defense against mad cow disease. [....] The plan would reduce the risk of infection by 90 percent said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. After a public comment period, the rules should take effect sometime next year , he said. Critics said the proposal fell short of what the FDA promised 19 months ago, after the nation's first case of mad cow disease was confirmed. The FDA originally said it would prohibit in cattle feed the use of blood, restaurant plate waste and poultry litter, all potential pathways for mad cow disease. [....] The FDA's new proposal bans using cattle brains and spinal cords from cows older than 30 months. The age cutoff is specified because infection levels are believed to rise as cattle grow older. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A17, S.L.P.D., 10/05/05]
2005 - Death Risk? / Anti-Psychotic Drugs, Alzheimer's Disease - October 19th, 2005: "Drugs often used to treat elderly patients with dementia-related agression and delusions can raise their risk of death, according to a study that reinforces new warning labels required on the medications. The researchers pooled results of 15 previous studies on drugs known as atypical anti-psychotics and sold under the brand names Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel and Abilify. Among more than 5,000 elderly dementia patients, those taking any of the drugs faced a 54 percent increased risk of dying within 12 weeks of starting the medication, compared with patients taking dummy pills." [Based on: News Services article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 10/19/05]
2005 - Death Risk? / Anti-Psychotic Drugs, Alzheimer's Disease - November 3rd, 2005: "In short term, anti-psychotic drugs may boost death risk. [....] Researchers reviewed data from 15 studies, nine of them previously unreported, that had randomly assigned 5,110 people with dementia to be given an anti-psychotic or a placebo. Drugs used in the studies were aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) and risperidone (Risperdal). About 87 percent of the participants, who averaged 81 years old, had Alzheimer's, and most were women. After about 10 to 12 weeks, 118 people taking the drugs (3.5 percent) had died, compared with 40 in the placebo group (2.3 percent). [....] Anti-psychotics are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia but not to treat behavioral disorders in people with dementia; the agency has asked drug makers to note that on medication labels. Eight of the nine unreported studies were funded by drug manufacturers. [....] It [the study] is published in the Oct. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association; abstract available online at www.jama.com." [Based on Health Studies article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 11/03/05]
2005 - Delayed? / Meat Labeling Plan, U.S.A. - November 4th, 2005: "The Senate sent a $100 billion food and farm spending bill to President George W. Bush on Thursday [11/03/05]. The measure includes a two-year delay on lables telling grocery shoppers where their meat comes from. Approved on an 81-18 vote, the food and farm spending bill would postpone mandatory meat labeling until 2008. Originally sought by Western ranchers and required by law in 2004, country-of-origin labeling has stalled under pressure from meatpackers and supermarkets who call it a record-keeping nightmare. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 11/04/05]
2005 - New Test? / Alzheimer's Disease - November 16th, 2005: "Alzheimer's disease starts years or even decades before symptoms begin. Now scientists at Washington University [Mo.] and the University of Pittsburgh say they can see evidence of the disease in the brains and spinal fluid in people in the early stages of dementia and in a few people who don't yet have memory problems. Anne M. Fagan Niven, a researcher at Washington University, presented the results of the universities' joint study Tuesday [11/15/05] at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. [....] Fagan and her colleauges examined two dozen people, including some in the early stages of dementia and some with no symptoms of disease. The researchers drew fluid from the volunteers' spinal columns and probed the fluid to determine the levels of a protein called Amyloid-beta 42, which is also known as A-beta 42. The protein builds up in brains of people with Alzheimer's disease and forms plaques. The plaques kill brain cells, producing memory loss and other symptoms of the disease. In people without Alzheimer's disease, the protein is made in the brain, gets dumped into the spinal fluid and is finally flushed into the blood for disposal. But when the protein begins to build up in the brain, more A-beta gets absorbed into plaques leaving less to reach the spinal fluid, Fagan said. She and her colleagues found that people with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease had low levels of the A-beta 42 protein in their spinal fluid. [....] As expected, Fagan found that the people with dementia and low levels of the protein in spinal fluid also had A-beta 42 plaques in their brains. But three people who didn't show any symptoms of Alzheimer's disease also had low A-Beta 42 levels in their spinal fluid and plaques in their brains. The researchers are tracking the volunteers to find out whether they will eventually develop the disease. Fagan cautioned that the only definitive test for Alzheimer's disease is still a brain autopsy. The test will likely undergo many revisions and improvements but could be useful for diagnosing or ruling out Alzheimer's disease and screening people at risk of the disease once drugs to treat it are available." [Based on: Article by Tina Hesman (New test may detect Alzheimer's before it shows), p. A9, S.L.P.D., 11/16/05]
2005 - Expectation and Health - November 30th, 2005: "Your medicine really could work better if your doctor talks it up before handing over the prescription. Research is showing the power of expectations, that they have physical - not just psychological - effects on your health. Scientists can measure the resulting changes in the brain, from the release of natural painkilling chemicals to alterations in how neurons fire. [....] 'Your expectations can have profound impacts on your brain and your health,' says Columbia University neuroscientist Tor Wager. 'There is not a single placebo effect, but many placebo effects,' that differ by illness, adds Dr. Fabrizio Benedetti of Italy's University of Torino Medical School, who is studying those effects in patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and pain. [....] Doctors have long thought the placebo effect was psychological. Now scientists are amassing the first direct evidence that the placebo effect actually is physical, and that expecting benefit can trigger the same neurological pathways of healing as real medication does. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Medicine studies hail expectation), p. A6, S.L.P.D., 11/30/05]
2005 - Trivia / Cholesterol & Alzheimer's Disease - December 1st, 2005: "[....] Laboratory research indicates that cholesterol plays a role in the development of the waxy deposits, or plaques, that clump together in the brain and characterize Alzheimer's. Might lowering cholesterol through medication affect the development of the disease? [....] Find this study: December issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry; abstract available @
http://jnnp.bmjjournals.com. [....]" [Based on: Health Studies article, p. A3, S.L.P.D. 12/01/05]
2005 - American Beef Returns to Japan - December 20th, 2005: "After a two-year ban over mad cow fears, American beef sizzled once again on Japanese grills Monday [12/19/05]. [....] Japan shut its ports to U.S. beef on Dec. 24, 2003, after the discovery of the first case of mad cow disease - known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE - in the U.S. herd. [....] A recent poll shows a strong majority of Japanese still harbor fears about American beef. And some restaurants were reluctant to market American beef until they are certain the public will be receptive." [Based on: A.P. article (After two-year ban over mad cow, American beef returns to Japan), p. A10, S.L.P.D., 12/20/05]
2006 - Halts Beef Imports / Japan - January 21st, 2006: "Japan ordered a halt Friday [01/20/06] to all imports of U.S. beef, citing concern over mad cow disease. [....] Just six weeks ago, Japan lifted a two-year ban on American beef. The problem this time was discovery of bone in a shipment of veal from a plant in New York. Bone is a mad cow disease risk, Asian countries say. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Japan halts U.S. beef imports because of mad cow concerns), p. A23, S.L.P.D., 01/21/06]
2006 - Mad Cow Case / Alberta, Canada - January 24th, 2006: "A cow from an Alberta farm has tested positive for mad cow disease, officials said Monday [01/23/06] .... [....]" [Based on: News Services article (Mad cow case is reported in Alberta), p. A8, S.L.P.D., 01/24/06]
2006 - Trivia / Mad Cow Safeguards, U.S.A. - February 3rd, 2006: "Investigators could not determine whether beef slaughterhouses and packing plants obeyed safeguards designed to keep mad cow disease from reaching humans, an Agriculture Department audit found. The audit, released Thursday [02/03/06], turned up a case of mad cow disease last year in a Texas cow. The department's inspector general didn't find that at-risk nerve tissues had entered the food supply. But investigators found it impossible to say whether slaughterhouses were following the rules, according to the report." [Based on: News Services article (Audit questions mad cow safeguards), p. A11, S.L.P.D., 02/03/06]
2006 - Mad Cow Case? / U.S.A. - March 12th, 2006: "The Agriculture Department is investigating a possible case of mad cow disease, the agency's chief veterinarian said Saturday [03/11/06]. A routine test indicated the possible presence of the disease, said John Clifford, the USDA official. The agency would not say where the animal was from. The cow did not enter the human or animal food chain, Clifford said. The department is conducting more detailed tests at its laboratory in Ames, Iowa, and should have results in four to seven days. [....] In humans, eating meat products contaminated with mad cow disease has been linked to more than 150 deaths worldwide from variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease, a rare and fatal nerve disease. A majority of the deaths were in Britain, where there was an outbreak of mad cow disease that started in the mid-1980's. There was one case confirmed in the U.S., although the federal Centers for Disease Control believes the person got the disease while in the United Kingdom. No one is known to have contracted the disease inside the United States. [....] As of Friday [03/10/06], 644,603 of the nation's estimated 95 million head of cattle has been tested." [Based on: A.P. article (U.S. may have a mad cow case), p. A5, S.L.P.D., 03/12/06]
2006 - Mad Cow / Alabama - March 14th, 2006: "A cow in Alabama has tested positive for mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department said Monday [03/13/06] in confirming the third U.S. case of the brain-wasting ailment. The cow never entered the food supply for people or animals, officials said. The animal, unable to walk, was killed by a local veterinarian and buried on the farm. [....] The Alabama cow had spent less than a year at the farm where it died, Clifford [John Clifford] said. Investigators are working to determine where the cow was born and raised and to find its herdmates and offspring, Clifford said. [....]" [Based on: Title for A.P. article (Alabama cow has mad cow disease), p. A3, S.L.P.D., 03/14/06]
2006 - Will be Scaled Back? / Mad Cow Testing, U.S.A. - March 15th, 2006:
[....] Consumer groups argue that more, not fewer, animals should be tested. Officials haven't finalized new levels, but the department's budget proposal calls for 40,000 tests a year, or about 110 daily. "This would be a tenth of a percent of all animals slaughtered," Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, said Tuesday [03/14/06]. "This starts to be so small that in our opinion, it approaches a policy of 'Don't look, don't find.' " Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said the confidence of American consumers and foreign customers was at risk. [....] Tests are done on brain tissue from cows, so animals must be killed before they can be tested. There is no test for the disease in a live animal. Since June 2004, the department has tested 652,697 cows for the disease. The nation has about 95 million cattle.
[Based on: Title for A.P. article (Despite third case, testing for mad cow disease will be scaled back as planned), p. A10, S.L.P.D., 03/15/06] - [Article paragraph indents untranscribed - D.R.D.]
2006 - Trivia / Aricept (donepezil) - March 18th, 2006: "Eleven patients have died while taking the Alzheimer's drug Aricept in a clinical trial testing the drug as a treatment for vascular dementia, a company official said. [....] Vascular dementia is a common form of cognitive decline that results from narrowing and blockage of arteries that supply blood to the brain, There is evidence the drug helps with cognitive and memory problems associated with stroke. The drug was approved in 1997 and is the most commonly prescribed drug used to treat Alzheimer's. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (11 died while taking Alzheimer's drug), p. A26, S.L.P.D., 03/18/06]
2006 - Mad Cow / Canada - April 17th, 2006: "Canada confirms 5th case of mad cow / The U.S. closed its border to Canadian beef in May 2003." [Based on: Title & Subtitle for A.P. article, p. A6, S.L.P.D., 04/17/06]
2006 - Trivia / "Atypical" Mad Cow Strain, U.S.A. - June 12th, 2006: "Two cases of mad cow disease in Texas and Alabama seem to have resulted from a mysterious strain that could appear spontaneously in cattle, researchers say. [....] The Texas and Alabama cases were confirmed last year and this year, respectively. Now they are drawing international attention. [....] These cows appear to have had an 'atypical' strain that scientists are only now starting to identify. Such cases have been described in about a dozen cows in France, Italy and other European countries, as well as in Japan. In the two U.S. cases, reserarchers did not detect the telltale spongy lesions caused by prions, the misfolded proteins that deposit plaque on the brain and kill brain cells. In addition, the prions in brain tissue samples from the Texas and Alabama cows seemed to be distributed differently from what would be expected with the classic form. [....] Mad cow disease has turned up three times in the United States: in native-born animals in Texas and Alabama and in a Canadian import in Washington state. In the Texas and Alabama cows, tests found patterns distinct from what turned up in an infected cow in Washington state and a cluster of Canadian cases, researchers say. The Washington and Canadian cases resemble the classic British cases. No matter what the origins might be of an atypical strain, the government says there is no reason to change federal testing or measures that safeguard animals and people." [Based on: A.P. article (Scientists suggest spontaneous appearance of mad cow strain), p. A2, S.L.P.D., 06/12/06]
2006 - Trivia / Alzheimer's Disease - June 27th, 2006: "The number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease is probably two to three times more than current estimates, according to a new study. And as the population ages, Alzheimer's could become the most expensive disease in the country. In the new study, brain autopsies of elderly people who had no symptoms of Alzheimer's showed that more than a third had lesions in their brains that met the criteria for the disease. Dr. David A. Bennett, director of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, led the study, which will appear today in the journal Neurology. About 4 million people in the United States are now thought to have Alzheimer's. The cost of caring for people with the brain disease tops $100 billion a year, according to the Lasker Foundation. [....] The risk of developing Alzheimer's doubles every five years after age 65. Almost 40 percent of people over age 85 have the disease, said Dr. Randall J. Bateman, a neurologist at Washington University. [....] The new study raises the possibility that people who have plaques in their brains but who haven't experienced a drop in their mental capacity, may have some protective factors that keep them from getting dementia. [....] About 99 percent of people who develop Alzheimer's have sporadic cases. That means they do not have specific mutations or known genetic factors that cause the disease. Bateman and others say that the problem could be that as people age, they make too much amyloid-beta, or that the ability to clear it from the brain slows down. The excess protein - as much as 1,000 times more than normal levels - could then congeal into plaques. [....]" [Based Article by Tina Hesman Saey, pp. A1 & A6, S.L.P.D., 06/27/06] - [Paragraph indents untranscribed to save space. - D.R.D.]
2006 - Trivia / Alzheimer's Disease, U.S.A. - July 3rd, 2006: "Scientists who study Alzheimer's disease say they are on the brink of finding treatments to slow or stop it. Projections are that by 2050, 16 million Americans will have the disease. Already 4.5 million do. Caring for people with Alzheimer's cost at least $100 billion each year. As the older population doubles over the next 25 years, Alzheimer's could become the country's most costly disease. [....]" [Based on: Article (Funding is key as scientists forecast Alzheimer's path) by Molly McElroy, p. A1, S.L.P.D., 07/03/06] - [Paragraph indents untranscribed to save space. - D.R.D.]
2006 - 7th Mad Cow Case / Canada - July 14th, 2006: "The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed Thursday [07/13/06] that a dairy cow tested positive for mad cow disease. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Food agency confirms 7th case of mad cow), p. A12, S.L.P.D., 07/14/06]
2006 - Trivia / Alzheimer's Treatments - July 20th, 2006: "[....] The patch, which infuses the drug Exelon through patients' skin, headlines a trio of innovative potential treatments unveiled Wednesday [07/19/06] at an Alzheimer's meeting in Spain. Also under study are a prostate cancer drug that may help dementia, too, and an immune therapy to ward off the sticky gunk that is Alzheimer's brain-clogging hallmark. [....] There is no known cure or prevention; today's drugs only temporarily treat symptoms. Exelon does that by inhibiting the breakdown of a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which is vital for nerve cells to communicate with each other. [....] Two experimental treatments that aim to fight that plaque buildup: *Leuprolide, an anti-hormone drug currently used to treat prostate cancer and uterine disorders. *Antibodies, immune system cells created to soak up beta-amyloid so it can't clog." [Based on: A.P. article (Patch infuses Alzheimer's drug through patients' skin), p. A9, S.L.P.D., 07/20/06]
2006 - No Link? / Moderate Drinking & Alzheimer's Disease - August 4th, 2006: "[....] 'There is little proof of permanent neurological effects' from mild to moderate alcohol consumption, said John Morris, neurological professor at Washington University [Mo.]. He defines moderate drinking as one to two drinks every day or two. [....] 'Daily alcohol use had no influence on the development of Alzheimer's disease or the rate at which the disease progresses,' Monique Williams wrote in an e-mail from Madrid, Spain, where she presented the findings at a recent conference. [....] The Washington U. researchers are the first to study longterm effects of alcohol on memory within the same individuals. Williams presented the study last month." [Based on: Title for Article (Alzheimer's disease, drinking not linked, study says / Moderate alcohol consumption doesn't influence dementia, researchers say.), p. A3, S.L.P.D., 08/04/06]
2006 - Trivia / Alzheimer's & "Aging" - August 11th, 2006: "Scientists have discovered molecular janitors that clear away a sticky gunk blamed for Alzheimer's disease - until they get old and quit sweeping up. [....] The discovery was published Thursday [08/10/06] in the journal Science. It centers on a tiny roundworm called C. elegans. [....] About 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, a toll expected to more than triple by 2050 as the population grays. Nobody knows what causes Alzheimer's. The lead suspect is a gooey protein called beta-amyloid. All brains contain it, although healthy cells somehow get rid of access amounts. But beta-amyloid builds up in Alzheimer's patients. Thursday's study reveals one way that cells fend off amyloid buildup, and that natural aging gradually erodes that detoxification process. Dillin's [Dr. Andrew Dillin, a biologist at California's Salk Institute for Biological Studies] team used roundworms that produce human beta-amyloid in the muscles of the body wall. As the worms age, amyloid builds up until it eventually paralyzes them; they can wiggle only their heads. Then the researchers altered genes in a pathway called insulin/IGF-1, long known to be key in controlling life span. Making the worms live longer protected them from paralysis. So in slowing down normal aging, something also slowed the buildup of toxic amyloid. But what? Enter those cellular janitors, two proteins in that gene pathway. One, named HSF-1, breaks apart amyloid and disposes of it, the researchers discovered. Natural aging slows HSF-1. Another protein called DAF-16 jumps in to help buy a little more time, by clumping extra amyloid together in a way that makes it less toxic." [Based on: A.P. article (Alzheimer's discovery centers on roundworm), p. A8, S.L.P.D., 08/11/06]
*Trivia: "Americans have sipped and slurped their way to fatness by drinking far more soda and other sugary drinks during the past four decades, a new scientific review [see: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition - 08/08/06] concludes. An extra can of soda a day can pile on 15 pounds in a single year. The 'weight of evidence' strongly suggests that this sort of increased consumption is a key reason that more people have gained weight, the researchers say. [....] Unlike other carbohydrates, the main sweetner in beverages - high-fructose corn syrup - doesn't spur production of insulin to make the body 'process' calories. Neither does it spur leptin, a substance that helps to moderate appetite. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (New study links American obesity to soda, sugary drinks), p. A3, S.L.P.D., 08/09/06]
*Trivia: [....] The book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell convincingly shows that large amounts of animal protein and refined sugars such as in candy, cakes and sodas, are making us sick with cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, obesity and other fatal diseases. The book includes supporting research.
Unfortunately, the profit-based food and pharmaceutical industries do not want us to have such information and never mention that a plant-based diet is important for good health and to avoid these fatal illnesses. We eat too much animal protein. Our protein needs can be fulfilled with a plant-based diet.
[Based on: Opinion Page article (Plant protein for health) by Joan Botwinick, p. D10, S.L.P.D., 03/09/06]
*Trivia: "Scientists have discovered a variant gene that leads to a sizable extra risk of Type 2 diabetes and is carried by more than a third of the American population. [....]" [Based on: New York Times article (Variant gene carries extra diabetes risk) by Nicholas Wade, p. A6, S.L.P.D., 01/16/06]
*Trivia: "Women who drink nondiet soda or fruit punch every day gain weight quickly and face a sharply elevated risk of getting diabetes, according to a major study released Tuesday [08/24/04]. [....] 'The message is: Anyone who cares about their health or the health of their family would not consume these beverages,' said Walter Willet of the Harvard School of Public Health, who helped conduct the study. [....] Although the study involved only women, the researchers believed that the risks also hold for men. [....] The sugar and beverage industries said the study was flawed." [Based on: Washington Post article by Rob Stein, 08/25/04]
*Trivia: "Coke and Pepsi, trying to add fizz into their soda sales, will launch new brands that taste like their flagship drinks but contain half the sugar, carbohydrates and calories. [....] The new drinks contain the standard high-fructose corn syrup that sweetens regular soda but in smaller amounts. The corn syrup is supplemented with Splenda, a no-calorie, no-carbohydrate sweetner made from sugar. [....] Pepsi says a 12-ounce can of Edge has 20 grams each of sugar and carbohydrates, and 70 calories, compared with regular Pepsi's 41 grams each of sugar and carbohydrates, and 150 calories." [Based on A.P. article, 05/05/04]
*Trivia: "Researchers say they've found more evidence of a link between a rapid rise in obesity and a corn product [high-fructose corn sweetener] used to sweeten soft drinks and food since the 1970s." [Based on: A.P. article, 03/26/04]
2006 - German Study / Alzheimer's Disease - September 22nd, 2006: "[....] The german-led study [reported Thursday -09/21/06] found that a tiny clump of bad beta-amyloid can trigger a buildup that results in Alzheimer's hallmark brain-crusting plaques - by physically pushing nearby healthy proteins into the wrong shapes. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Study further links a protein, Alzheimer's), p. A9, S.L.P.D., 09/22/06]
2006 - Anti-Psychotic Drugs Ineffective? / Alzheimer's Disease - October 12th, 2006: "Widely prescribed anti-psychotic drugs do not help most Alzheimer's patients with delusions and aggression and are not worth the risk of sudden death and other side effects, the first major study on sufferers outside nursing homes concludes. [....] Three-fourths of the 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease develop aggression, hallucinations or delusions. This behavior is the most common reason families put people with Alzheimer's in nursing homes. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Study: Anti-psychotic drugs ineffective for Alzheimer's), p. A2, S.L.P.D., 10/12/06]
2006 - Linked with Stress? / Alzheimer's Disease - October 18th, 2006: "Stress increases brain levels of proteins that lead to Alzheimer's disease, a new study from Washington University [Mo.] researchers reveals. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D. article (Study links stress with risk for Alzheimer's), p. A3, 10/18/06]
2007 - Mad Cow / Alberta, Canada - February 9th, 2007: "[....] On Wednesday [02/07/07], Canada confirmed its ninth case of mad cow disease since 2003, in an Alberta bull that died on a farm last week. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that a mature bull tested positive for mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. [NP] No human deaths as a result of mad cow have been reported in Canada." [Based on: News Services article (U.S. specialist to study Canadian mad cow case), p. A10 S.L.P.D., 02/09/07]
2007 - Alzheimer's Disease Trivia / U.S.A. - March 20th, 2007: "More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, a 10 percent increase since the last Alzheimer's Association estimate five years ago - and a count that supports the long-forecast dementia epidemic as the population grays. [NP] Age is the biggest risk factor, and the report to be released today shows the nation is on track for skyrocketing Alzheimer's once the baby boomers start turning 65 in 2011. Already, one in eight people 65 and older have the mind-destroying illness, and nearly one in two people older than 85. [NP] Unless scientists discover a way to delay Alzheimer's brain attack, some 7.7 million people are expected to have the disease by 2030, the report says. By 2050, that toll could reach 16 million. [....] The new report - based on federal population counts, not new disease research - is the first update of the Alzheiner's toll since 2002, when it was estimated to afflict 4.5 million people. It comes as Congress is considering funding for research into Alzheimer's and other diseases. [NP] No one knows what causes Alzheimer's. It gradually robs sufferers of their memories and ability to care for themselves, eventually killing them. There is no known cure, and today's drugs only temporarily alleviate symptoms." [Based on: A.P. article (Alzheimer's U.S. toll is growing), p. A3, S.L.P.D., 03/20/07]
2007 - Trivia / Distress & Absent-Mindedness - June 25th, 2007: "People prone to being distressed have more memory problems that [<typo?] easy-going people. [NP] A study of the journal Neurology has found that people who experience bad emotions, depression and anxiety a lot were 40 percent more likely to develop 'mild cognitive impairment,' fancy words for absent-mindedness. [NP] Mild cognitive impairment can also be the transitional stage between normal aging and dementia. But with the new findings, researchers believe that memory problems may not be as tightly tied to dementia as once thought. Problems also can be tied to being stressed out. [NP] 'People differ in how they tend to experience and deal with negative emotions and psychological distress, and the way people respond tends to stay the same throughout their adult lives,' said Robert S. Wilson of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. 'These findings suggest that, over a lifetime, chronic experience of stress affects the area of the brain that governs stress response. Unfortunately, that part of the brain also regulates memory.' " [Based on: Health Notes article (Distress is linked to absent-mindedness), p. H2, S.L.P.D., 06/25/07]
*Commentary: "Gotta love those researchers. How much time and money did it take to figure that one out? New findings? Where do these researchers go to school?" D.R.D.
2007 - Get old, stay smart - July 30th, 2007: "Keeping your mental edge into your winter years takes brain work, the Mayo Clinic says. [NP] Clinicians said recently there's no reason why the brain of older people should lose their sharpness. The key is to exercise mental muscle. [NP] In fact, older adults who work their brains can develop new connections between brain cells, they said. [NP] Research increasingly shows that aging doesn't automatically result in a steady erosion of brain cells. [NP] A brain workout - using the mind in a wide variety of new and challenging ways - can activate cells throughout the brain, says the newest issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. [NP] Here are some ways to have a brain workout: [NP *Work the left brain: Language, number and reasoning activities are considered left-brain activities. Reading, writing, learning a new language, completing number or word games, balancing a checkbook without a calculator and fixing broken objects are left-brain activities. [NP] *Work the right brain: Music, art and using the imagination are considered right-brain activities. Revive your music talent, sing in a choir, knit, quilt or take art classes. [NP] *Break a routine: Your brain kicks in when you change an old routine or habit. Now you'll have to think about it again. [NP] *Be sociable: Conversation and group activities get your brain working." [Based on: Health Notes article (Get old, stay smart), p. H2, S.L.P.D., 07/30/07] - [My brackets. "NP" = New Paragraph. - D.R.D.]
2007 - Linked to Dementia / Acid-Inhibiting Drugs? - August 4th, 2007: "Elderly black people who are chronic users of acid-inhibiting drugs in the family that includes Zantac, Pepcid and Tagamet have 2 1/2 times the normal risk of developing dementia, Indiana University researchers reported Friday [08/03/07]. [NP] The drugs block production of stomach acid by inhibiting histamine-2 receptors; the stomach releases hydrochloric acid when stimulated by histamines. But they also inhibit the brain's cholinergic system, which is involved in memory and cognition. Low levels of Cholinergic activity have been linked to dementia. In the past, there have been hints that the drugs, known as histamine-2 receptor antagonists, might be linked to dementia, but previous studies have come down on both sides of the question, said Dr. John Morris of Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study. [NP] 'This is certainly not the final word on the potential risk of these drugs,' he said. 'But what it tells us is that, for older adults, drug use should be considered very carefully.' [NP] GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures Tagamet and Zantac, did not return calls seeking comment. [NP] The study did not look at Caucasians. [NP] The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It was conducted by Dr. Malaz Boustani." [Based on: Los Angeles Times article (Study ties stomach, dementia), p A18, S.L.P.D., 08/04/07]
2008 - Record Beef Recall / U.S.A. - February 18th, 2008: "USDA issues large meat recall ['143 million pounds of beef' - 02/17/08] / 'EGREGIOUS VIOLATIONS' * Meatpacker may have led sick animals to slaughter." [Based on: Title & Subtitle for Washington Post article, p A2, S.L.P.D., 02/18/08]
2008 - Neurodegeneration Link? / Excessive Amounts of Aspartame - April 3rd, 2008: "03-Apr-2008 - Excessive intake of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in the brain to function normally, suggests a new review that could fan the flames of controversy over the sweetener. [NP] The review, by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo and published recently in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, indicated that high consumption of the sweetener may lead to neurodegeneration. [....] They found aspartame can disturb the metabolism of amino acids, protein structure and metabolism, the integrity of nucleic acids, neuronal function and endocrine balances. It also may change the brain concentrations of catecholamines, which include norepinephrine, epinephrine and domapine. [NP] Additionally, they said the breakdown of aspartame causes nerves to fire excessively, which can indirectly lead to a high rate of neuron depolarisation. [NP] The researchers added: "The energy systems for certain required enzyme reactions become compromised, thus indirectly leading to the inability of enzymes to function optimally. [NP] 'The ATP stores [adenosine triphosphate] in the cells are depleted, indicating that low concentrations of glucose are present in the cells, and this in turn will indirectly decrease the synthesis of acetylcholine, glutamate and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).' [NP] Furthermore, the functioning of glutamate as an excitatory neurotransmitter is inhibited as a result of the intracellular calcium uptake being altered, and mitochondria are damaged, which the researchers said could lead to apoptosis (cell death) of cells and also a decreased rate of oxidative metabolism. [NP] As a result of their study, the researchers said more testing is required to further determine the health effects on aspartame and bring an end to the controversy." [Based on Staff Reporter article [See Link] (Review raises questions over aspartame and brain health)] - [NP] Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008, doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602866 / "Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain" Authors: P. Humphries, E. Pretorius, H. Naude"
2008 - Mysterious Illness / U.S. Pork Plant Crews - April 17th, 2008: "The number of mysterious neurological illnesses among workers who processed pig brains at pork plants in three states [Minnesota, Indiana & Nebraska] has grown to as many as 24, researchers said Wednesday [04/16/08]. [....]" [Based on: News Services article (Odd illness increases for pork plant crew), p A3, S.L.P.D., 04/17/08]
2008 - Urges More Alzheimer's Research / Sandra Day O'Connor - May 15th, 2008: "O'Connor [Sandra Day O'Connor] urges more research on Alzheimer's [05/14/08] / At Senate hearing, retired justice discusses her afflicted husband." [Based on: Title & Subtitle for A.P. article by Lauran Neergaard, p A5, S.L.P.D., 05/15/08]
2008 - New Alzheimer's Drug? / "rember" - July 30th, 2008: "[....] The results [of 'rember'] were presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease this week in Chicago." [Based on: Chicago Tribune article (Treatment may break tangles of Alzheimer's), p. A3, S.L.P.D., 07/30/08]
2008 - Mad Cow Testing? / U.S.A. - August 30th, 2008: "The administration of President George W. Bush can prohibit meatpackers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said. [NP] The dispute pits the Agriculture Department, which tests about 1 percent of cows for the potentially deadly disease, against Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, a Kansas meatpacker that wants to test all the animals. Larger meat packers fear they would have to conduct the expensive tests to match Creekstone." [Based on: News Reports article (WASHINGTON / Court allows Bush to ptohibit testing), p A20, S.L.P.D., 08/30/08]
2009 - Scientist gets grant to study aging and Alzheimer's - September 3rd, 2009: "[....] 'It's easy to think of someone sitting around and then a rare snow storm comes along, and they go out and shovel and have a heart attack. The brain may be the same way ...,' Brewer [Research scientist Gregory Brewer] said. 'When the brain can't handle stress, it loses synapses and neurons, and then you can't remember things.' [NP] If Brewer's research can show a link, a key to prevention could be a healthy diet and physical exercise. [NP] 'The same things that the heart people have been pushing for a long time to give people a healthy heart may also give you a healthy brain,' Brewer said. [....]" [Based on: Article (Scientist gets grant to study aging and Alzheimer's / In the lab - Work at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield could lead to new ways to treat, prevent the disease.) by Michele Munz, p. B3, S.L.P.D., 09/03/09]
2009 - World Alzheimer Report - September 21st, 2009: "35 million suffering from some form of dementia, study [World Alzheimer Report] says / Worldwide figure is higher than scientists predicted in 2005." [Based on: Title for A.P. article, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 09/21/09]
2010 - Trivia / Alzheimer's Disease Treatments - April 30th, 2010: "No real proof that remedies can stave off Alzheimer's ['- including nutritional supplements, diet, cognitive games, computer programs and exercise - work.] , panel reports" [Based on: Title for The Seattle Times article by Shari Roan, p. A20, S.L.P.D., 04/30/10]
2010 - Alzheimer's diagnosis criteria should change, experts say - July 14th, 2010: "[....] If the guidelines are adopted in the fall, as expected, some experts predict a two-to threefold increase in the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease [on account of new technology, like brain scans]. Many more people would be told they probably are on their way to getting it." [Based on: New York Times article (Alzheimer's diagnosis criteria should change, experts say.), p. A4, S.L.P.D., 07/14/10]
2010* - Dementia vs. Alzheimer's: learning the differences - August 12th, 2010: "For those people 55 and older, researchers have some grim news: One in six will develop some form of dementia. [NP] The dementia could include Alzheimer's, which impacts nearly half of those 85 plus, or it could manifest as a different dementia, including Lewy body, vascular, Parkinson's disease or frontal lobe dementia. [NP] 'All these dementia's are characterized by a collection of proteins, specific to the dementia, that clump together - proteinopathie,' says Frank LaFeria, head of the UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders in Irvine, Calif. [....] Q. This growing number of Alzheimer's patients sounds expensive. A. We estimate by 2050 the United States will spend $1 trillion dealing with Alzheimer's patients. And another 40 percent caring for those with other forms of dementia. If that comes to fruition, it's going to bankrupt us. [....]" [Based on: Article (Dementia vs. Alzheimer's: learning the differences / Not all dementia is the same.) by Jane Glenn Haas, pp. B1 & B4, S.L.P.D., 08/12/10]
2010 - Alzheimer's drug being dropped - August 18th, 2010: "[....] The company [Eli Lilly and Co.] said the drug, called semagacestat, did not slow progression of the disease and was associated with a worsening of cognition and the ability to perform the tasks of daily living." [Based on: News Services article (Alzheimer's drug being dropped), p. A9, S.L.P.D., 08/18/10]
2010 - Drug failure casts doubt on Alzheimer's cause - August 19th, 2010: "[....] It was not just that the drug [semagacestat], made by Eli Lilly, did not work - maybe that could be explained by saying the patients' illness was too far advanced when they received it. It was that the drug actually made them worse, the company said. And the larger the dose they took, the worse were patient's symptoms of memory loss and inability to care for themselves. Not only that, the drug also increased the risk of skin cancer. [....] Beyond the setback for Lilly, the study raises questions about a leading hypothesis of the cause of Alzheimer's and how to treat it. The idea, known as the amyloid hypothesis, says the disease occurs when a toxic protein, beta anyloid, accumulates in the brain. The idea is that if beta amyloid levels are reduced, the disease might be slowed, halted or even prevented if treatment starts early enough. [....] Some, like Dr. Lon Schneider, an Alzheimer's researcher at the University of Southern California, say the drug's failure may mean the field is rushing off a cliff in its near single-minded focus on blocking the production of amyloid. Schneider, like most leading Alzheimer's researchers, consults for a number of drug companies, including Lilly. [....] 'We don't know what the drug targets for Alzheimer's disease are,' Schneider said. 'We don't know because we don't know the causes of Alzheimer's.' [....] Doraiswamy [Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, an Alzheimer's researcher at Duke University] said he was not abandoning the amyloid hypothesis. But, he said, 'this is a time of major soul-searching in the field. [NP] 'What worries me is that we don't know if this was a toxicity unique to Lilly's drug and this late-stage population or whether it also applies to similar anti-amyloid therapies given at earlier stages of the disease,' Doraiswamy said. [NP] The bad news came on the heels of what researchers see as a resurgence of hope in this challenging field. With new cooperation in research, they have made advances in diagnosing Alzheimer's, a disease that used to be uncertain until autopsy." [Based on: New York Times article (Drug failure casts doubt on Alzheimer's cause / Amyloid production was reduced as intended, but that didn't ease symptoms.) by Gina Kolata, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 08/19/10] - [My brackets. NP = New Paragraph. - E.M.]
2010 - Alzheimer's-arthritis link gains support - August 23rd, 2010: "[....] The researchers found that a protein released into the bloodstream of people with rheumatoid arhritis provided protection against Alzheimer's in mice. Their study appears online today in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease." [Based on: News Services article (Alzheimer's-arthritis link gains support), p. A15, S.L.P.D., 08/23/10]
2010 - Middle-aged smokers risk dementia, study says - October 26th, 2010: "Middle-aged smokers risk dementia, study says / Study [published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine] followed 21,123 middle-aged people for an average of 23 years." [Based on: Title for Los Angeles Times article, p. A15, S.L.P.D.,10/26/10]
2010 - Hunting for early signs of Alzheimer's disease - November 25th, 2010: "Much of the research on Alzheimer's next year will be about going back in time, trying to determine when and how the brain begins to deteroriate. [NP] Scientists now know that Alzheimer's attacks the brain long before people exhibit memory loss or cognitive decline. [....]" [Based on: New York Times article (Hunting for early signs of Alzheimer's disease) by Pam Belluck, p. A32, S.L.P.D., 11/25/10]
2010 - Set of Proteins Account for Over 130 Brain Diseases - December 20th, 2010: "[....] 'We found that over 130 brain diseases involve the PSD [postsynaptic density]- far more than expected,' says Professor Grant. 'These diseases include common debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders as well as epilepsies and childhood developmental diseases including forms of autism and learning disability.' [....]" [Based on: ScienceDaily article (Genetic Basis of Brain Diseases: Set of Proteins Account for Over 130 Brain Diseases), 12/20/10]
2011 - New Alzheimer's tests show promise - January 19th, 2011: "New Alzheimer's tests show promise / Brain scan can detect telltale plaques; blood test screens for beta anyloid ['Both studies are to be published in The Journal of the American Medical Association today.']. [Based on Title (and text) for New York Times article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 01/19/11]
2011 - FDA approves Alzheimer's test - January 21th, 2011: "FDA approves Alzheimer's test ['Eli Lilly's Amyvid, an experimental injection designed to highlight brain plaque in medical imaging scans.']." [Based on: Title (and text) for article, p. A10, S.L.P.D., 01/21/11]
2011 - Alzheimer's cure suggested - March 5th, 2011: "Alzheimer's cure [apomorphine] suggested" [Based on: Titlefor Article, p. A19, S.L.P.D., 03/05/11]
2011 - Pesticides linked to Parkinson's - May 28th, 2011: "California researchers who first established a link bwtween two commonly used pesticides and Parkinson's disease have found a third crop-enhancing chemical - ziram - that appears to raise the risk of developing the movement disorder. And they have found that people whose workplaces were close to fields sprayed with these chemicals - not just those who live nearby - are at higher risk of developing Parkinson's." [Based on: Article (Pesticides linked to Parkinson's), p. A24, S.L.P.D., 05/28/11]
2011 - Researchers hail finding in ALS fight - August 22nd, 2011: "[....] The discovery could also help in developing treatments for other, more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's, Siddique [Dr. Teepu Siddique] said. [NP] The Northwestern team identified the breakdown of cellular recycling systems in the neurons of the spinal cord and brain of ALS patients that results in the nervous system's slowly losing its ability to carry brain signals to the body's muscular system. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune article (Researchers hail finding in ALS fight) by William Mullen, p. A10, S.L.P.D., 08/22/11]
2011 - Insulin found to halt some memory loss - September 13th, 2011: "Inhaling a concentrated cloud of insulin through the nose twice a day appears to slow - and in some cases reverse - symptoms of memory loss in people with early signs of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published online Monday [09/12/11] by the journal Archives of Neurology." [Based on: Digest article (Insulin found to halt some memory loss), p. A15, S.L.P.D., 09/13/11]
2012 - FDA warnings on statins - February 29th, 2012: "FDA warnings on statins ['about risks of memory loss and elevated blood sugar']" [Based on: Title (and text) for Digest article, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 02/29/12]
2012 - U.S. confirms case of mad cow disease - April 25th, 2012: "The incident [confirmed by USDA 04/24/12] is the first case of the disease found in California - and the first detected in the United States since 2006. [...] The company [Baker Commodities] has 21 plants across the United States that convert animal byproducts into pet food, poultry feed and tallow, used in soaps, paints and cosmetics. The company advertises that it provides 'dead stock removal' for dairy cows and cattle. [...] 'For years, Consumers Union has been trying to get the USDA to test more cows each year,' said Elisa Odabashian, a director of Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer reports. 'Only 40,000 cows a year - of millions of millions slaughtered - are tested. We don't know if this is an isolated, unusual event - or if they are not finding it because they are not looking. There very well may be more beef that has this disease.' " [Based on: San Jose Mercury News article (U.S. confirms case of mad cow disease / Public is not at risk, officials say, but industry ferars setback.), p. A7, S.L.P.D., 04/25/12]
2012 - Links between stress and dementia, Altzheimer’s investigated - June 26th, 2012: "[...] This is not the first time a link between dementia and stress has come under scrutiny. 'A Swedish study that followed nearly 1,500 women for a period of 35 years found the risk of dementia was about 65% higher in women who reported repeated periods of stress in middle age than in those who did not,” reported the BBC.' [...] “Chronic stress is known to increase the risk of a number of illnesses – including heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes,” pointed out NetDoctor. And a recent study found that psychological distress is associated with an increased risk of death from a stroke, reported The Huffington Post. [....]" [Based on: The Periscope Post article (Links between stress and dementia, Altzheimer’s investigated / Stress has already been associated with cancer and heart disease – is it also linked to dementia?), 26 June 2012]
2013 - Bacteria in gum disease point to Alzheimer's - August 1st, 2013: "Bacteria in gum disease [Porphyromonas gingivalis] point to Alzheimer's / Evidence is found in four of 10 samples of tissue from patients." [Based on: Title for Bloomberg News article, p. B1, S.L.P.D., 08/01/13]
2013 - Prions - in plants? - September 27th, 2013: "Prions — the infectious, deformed proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer — can be taken up by plants such as alfalfa, corn and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison. [....]" [Based on: Article by Ron Seely, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism]
2013 - Concussions may be linked to Alzheimer's disease - December 28th, 2013: "Concussions may be linked to Alzheimer's disease" [Based on: Title for DIGEST article, p. A16, S.L.P.D., 12/28/13]
2014 - Vitamin E slows Alzheimer's progression, study finds - January 5th, 2014: "Vitamin E slows Alzheimer's progression, study finds / New research also debunks earlier findings that supplements hastened death in some patients." [Based on: Title for Los Angeles Times article, p. A20, S.L.P.D., 01/05/14]
2014 - Genetic makeup may affect a person's risk of concussion - May 7th, 2014: "Genetic makeup may affect a person's risk of concussion ['The genes that scientists are looking at may also be related to the development of Alzheimer's disease.']" [Based on: Title for Washington Post article, p. A19, S.L.P.D., 05/07/14]
2014 - Scientists Shed Light on Link Between Depression, Dementia - July 31st, 2014: "Older people with depression are more likely to develop dementia, but researchers have been unable to explain the exact nature of the relationship between the two.
"Specifically, they haven't been able to figure out the direction in which the relationship works - does depression help bring on dementia, or does dementia cause people to become depressed?
"A new study published online July 30 in the journal Neurology sheds more light on the mystery.
"Depression is a risk factor for dementia, researchers report, and people with more symptoms of depression tend to suffer a more rapid decline in thinking and memory skills. While the study found an association between the two, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. [... .]"
[Based on: HealthDay News article (Scientists Shed Light on Link Between Depression, Dementia), by Dennis Thompson, Thursday, July 31, 2014]
2014 - Walnuts appear to delay onset of Alzheimer's - October 25th, 2014: "Walnuts appear to delay onset of Alzheimer's" [Based on: Title for The Washington Post article, p. B3, S.L.P.D., 10/25/14]
2015 - Did anti-anxiety medicine lead to Alzheimer's? - February 5th, 2015: "[...] A Canadian study published in the journal BMJ (online Sept. 9, 2014) reported a link between benzodiazepines and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in older people. The longer people used such medications, the greater their risk of developing dementia. [N.P.] Similar results were revealed in a long-term French study (BMJ online, Sept. 27, 2012),. The authors concluded that 'The findings of this large prospective population based study show that new use of benzodiazepines is associated with an approximately 50 percent increase in the risk of dementia.' [... .]" [Based on: Article (Did anti-anxiety medicine lead to Alzheimer's?) by Joe and Teresa Graedon, p. B6, S.L.P.D., 02/05/15]
2015 - Gout may provide protection against Alzheimer's - March 19th, 2015: "Gout may provide protection against Alzheimer's / Anti-oxidative properties in uric acid offer hope" [Based on: Title for Washington Post article, p. B1, S.L.P.D., 03/19/15]
2016 - Report details financial, emotional toll taken by Alzheimer's disease in U.S. - March 30th, 2016: "[...] The 2016 Facts and Figures report to be released Wednesday by the Alzheimer’s Association shows that 5.4 million Americans have the disease, and close to 16 million others act as caregivers. [...] The total cost of caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in the U.S. is estimated at $236 billion, including $160 billion in government Medicare and Medicaid spending, making the disease the nation’s costliest. The total does not include the more than 18 billion hours of unpaid care given by family members and friends each year. [N.P.] Already, Alzheimer’s and other dementias account for nearly 20 percent of Medicare’s budget. By 2050, that figure is expected to rise to one-third, barring any major breakthroughs in treatment. [...] The report states that only 3 percent of U.S. adults have insurance plans that would cover long-term nursing home care. [... .]" [Based on: Article (Report details financial, emotional toll taken by Alzheimer's disease in U.S.), p. A6, S.L.P.D., 03/30/16]
2016 - Tau protein may be a better predictor of Alzheimer's - May 12th, 2016: "[...] A buildup of plaque and dysfunctional proteins in the brain are hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. [...] About 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and that number is expected to nearly triple by 2050. This year, Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost the nation $236 billion." [Based on: Article (Tau protein may be a better predictor of Alzheimer's), p. A6, S.L.P.D., 05/12/16]
2016 - Alzheimer's countered by complex lifestyle - July 25th, 2016: "Alzheimer's countered by complex lifestyle ['... according to research presented at ... at the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference in Toronto.'] / Research indicates mentally stimulating activities are key" [Based on: Title for Washington Post article, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 07/25/16]
2016 - Dementia rate declines, but aging America may slow or halt trend - November 22nd, 2016: "[...] Dementia rates in people over age 65 fell to 8.8 percent in 2012 from 11.6 percent in 2000 [...] Up to 5 million Americans today suffer from dementia, a number that is expected to triple by 2050. [... .]" [Based on: Kaiser Health News article (Dementia rate declines, but aging America may slow or halt trend / More education, better heart health can ward off disorders of the brain, researchers say), p. A18, S.L.P.D., 11/22/16]
Page last updated 11/22/16