Research studies have been conducted by a team of neuroscientists to understand how the onset of Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented in general population. These studies were conducted under the supervision of the most famous neuroscientist in Canada, Dr. Patrick McGeer.
These comprehensive research studies were carried out a research team in Vancouver, Canada. They have presented some startling revelations: they suggest that ibuprofen [a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)] must be prescribed in daily doses at an early stage to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication and it seems to be a wonderful strategy to ward off this debilitating condition. According to latest estimates by the World Health Organization, Alzheimer’s disease has affected about 47 million people across the globe in 2016.
This has caused additional burden on major healthcare system all across the world, with the medical cost of treatment being pegged at US$818 billion per year. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease is considered to be the fifth most common cause of death in patients who are senior citizens (65 years and older).
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, United States of America accounts for more than 5 million cases. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease is so common in the USA that each new case is being recorded every 66 seconds. The burden on healthcare system due to Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to have been $259 billion in the year 2017. Moreover, the economic burden would certainly rise to 1.1 trillion $ by the year 2050.
The revelations of the research study are path-breaking and the fact that they have been conducted by the most noted Canadian neuroscientists (Dr. Patrick McGeer and Dr. Edith McGeer) only adds weightage to renewal of hope and prevention.
The study was conducted in the laboratory owned by Dr. Patrick McGeer and Dr. Edith McGeer (his wife). In this laboratory, they have conducted several research studies to understand the pathophysiology, prognosis, epidemiology, and prevention of several neurological diseases, with a special focus on Alzheimer’s disease.
They have devoted their careers to devise novel therapies in neurosciences for the past 30 years. The esteemed Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has published a paper detailing the most recent discoveries of Dr. McGeer. Dr. McGeer and his team of researchers made an important announcement in 2016: they had devised a simple saliva test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease; this test could also be performed on healthy subject to predict the future onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The saliva secretes the peptide amyloid beta protein 42 (Abeta42), whose concentration is measured by performing the aforementioned saliva test. Regardless the age and gender of healthy subjects, the rate of Abeta 42 production is almost constant. If the rate of Abeta 42 production is twice or thrice the normal rate, the individual may develop Alzheimer’s disease in the near future.
It is important to note that Abeta42 is produced throughout the body and it is relatively insoluble in bodily fluids; however, the deposits of Abeta42 occur only in the human brain. The deposited Abeta42 causes neuroinflammation to destroy the neurons of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. McGeer and his team of neuroscientists made a path-breaking discovery in this study: they proved that Abeta42 is a peptide that is secreted into the saliva from the submandibular gland. Furthermore, they went on to prove that they could predict the susceptibility of the patient to Alzheimer’s disease by analyzing just a teaspoon of saliva.
As the saliva test is a predictive marker of Alzheimer’s disease, preventive measures can be prescribed at an early stage. This includes consumption of ibuprofen in daily doses: ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
The more startling facts of this study are as follows: the secretion of Abeta 42 peptide is same in patients and healthy individuals who are susceptible to developing the condition in the near future. What is even more assuring is the fact that elevated levels of Abeta 42 peptide are exhibited in healthy subjects at all times of the day, so the saliva test does not call for any special condition and restriction.
The saliva test can be performed on subjects at any given time of the day. In clinical practice, most patients are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 65. Therefore, Dr. McGeer and his team suggest that individuals must get tested for Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 55.
The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease typically develop at the age of 55, although the subjects appear to be completely healthy in appearance. If the levels of Abeta 42 peptide are elevated at the age of 55, then a daily dose of ibuprofen is recommended for preventing the disease.
In most clinical trials, neuroscientists have included patients who showed mild to severe impairment in cognitive ability. When the disease progresses to a late stage, therapeutic opportunities are limited in number.
Unfortunately, the progression of the disease could not be halted in any of the clinical trials. The discovery of McGeer is path-breaking, innovative, and a true game changer. The saliva test is an accurate predictor of whether a healthy individual would develop Alzheimer’s disease in the near future.
They have proposed the use of ibuprofen to prevent the incidence of Alzheimer’s in such healthy individuals. Given that ibuprofen is a mild NSAID that is available over-the-counter, it is truly a simple solution that does not warrant the visit of a doctor. This is a truly innovative strategy to eliminate the crippling condition of the human brain.