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April 14th, 2008


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10:44 am - Today's Awesome Science News.
Alzheimer's cured.

(Needs a wider test, of course. However, it's a 90% success rate in the 50 patients so far.)

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:unknownpoltroon
Date:April 14th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Holy shit. I hadnt thought of that. THis just REALLY made my day.
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From:faolan_phe0nix
Date:April 14th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Please tell me this article is real. Even in preliminary stages that's incredible.
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From:theweaselking
Date:April 14th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
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The Belfast Telegraph is a real newspaper.
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From:matgb
Date:April 14th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
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The bits about "edited by the clinic" and "claimed by the clinic" are the key bits, it's one study by one private group without any (yet) peer review.

I am of course as hopeful as anyone else, and if it pans out that'd be very very cool, but it may be just a publicity stunt, hence the paper's caution.
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From:faolan_phe0nix
Date:April 14th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Yes, of course. I'm going for cautiously optimistic here, but having lost both grandfathers to Alzheimer's it's nice to have a little hope.
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From:cmseward
Date:April 14th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
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I hope this holds up to the testing that is sure to follow. (Alzheimer's is one of the few things that truly scares me.)
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From:dglenn
Date:April 14th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
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"Alzheimer's is one of the few things that truly scares me."

I had been about to say the same thing.
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From:caerlas
Date:April 14th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
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I have this foreboding feeling that I'm likely to become afflicted in later years. Probably because i already feel confused half the time anyway. =) Glad to hear this news
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From:heraldofchaos
Date:April 14th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
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off topic, but thought youd like to read this...

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/04/mind_decision

Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them
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From:pope_guilty
Date:April 14th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
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but but but not having free will would make me an ANIMAL can you not see why this cannot be real?
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From:itlandm
Date:April 14th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
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I've seen this news around lately. There is no independent review, so we shall have to wait this one out. But it has incredible potential. If that even works on half the patients, it will change society. Compare it to the invention of reading glasses (spectacles) which is said to have contributed to the renaissance and the scientific revolution that followed, by adding 20 years to the productive life of scholars and sages. Do that again and we could have another renaissance on our hands. (Not to mention what 20 more years of Pratchett could do to the world, but let us not get carried away here - I believe his case was said to be atypical.)
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From:athelind
Date:April 14th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
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This is really exciting news.

Tasteless observation:

The patient they describe makes sense 90% of the time after treatment?

Most people WITHOUT Alzheimer's don't make sense more than 75% of the time.
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From:autobotsrollout
Date:April 14th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
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Way, way too early to call it a cure, but let's be hopeful.
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From:tyoko
Date:April 14th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
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I saw that news being reported a few months ago in some of the bigger name papers. It sounds very promising, but at the moment it's just a press release. Hopefully this will prompt someone into doing proper clinical trials...
From:silmaril
Date:April 14th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
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Oh please let this hold up in wider trials.

Please please please please.
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From:unknownpoltroon
Date:April 14th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
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Hey, what can it do for someone without alzheimers???
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From:pope_guilty
Date:April 14th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
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Miracle cure announced before confirming studies.

My god, man, have you not seen enough "MIRACLE CANCER CURE!" and "MIRACLE AIDS CURE!" headlines that it's not blindingly obvious? I mean, shit, I'd love it to be real, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
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From:lightinchains
Date:April 14th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
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Type etanercept alzheimers into youtube for some pretty impressive videos.
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From:atlasimpure
Date:April 15th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Fingers, toes and titties.
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From:turnberryknkn
Date:April 17th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)
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I wish -- this article details some of the problems. I mean, if someone *did* successfully and convincingly find a treatment for Alzhimer's this effective, it wouldn't be published in Journal of Neuroinflammation, it would be published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, New England Journal of Medicine, or one of medicine's other flagship journals. Treatment for Alzhemier's is one of medicine's holy grails, and anyone who could convincingly fix that, with scientific data convincing enough to prove his point, would be on the fast track for the Lasker and the Nobel. That being said, however...

It wouldn't be the first time a major discovery didn't get immediately recongized; one recent example was the story of the two Australian physicians at a small Australian university who for years had amassed data that many stomach ulcers were actually not the result primarily of acid overproduction but were in fact the result of infection with H. Pylori; and further, that many ulcers could be treated with antibiotics instead of anti-acid medications. It was a simple, dramatic cure for ulcers -- which cause millions of people severe pain and actually kill thousands a year from gastic bleeds -- and nobody noticed or believed it at first.

At first. The nice thing, tho, is that, this being science, if you have the data you have the data, the double-blinded clinical trials and all the other hallmarks of careful proof, that's all that matters. In retrospect, their work probably should have been published in the top journals when it first appeared, but for various reasons, it didn't. There are a lot of reasons why their work didn't get the initial recognition it deserved. But the discoverers had carefully put together an ironclad story; the results were easily testable and repeatable; and so what they had so much trouble convincing folks of in the beginning is now the standard therapy we learn about in medical school.

And the guys who discovered it did end up eventually winning the Lasker, the Nobel, and bloody near every other prize medicine awards for landmark discovery. It took medicine a while to get around to realizing what they'd found; but in the end, they had the rigorous proof to back them up. And if you have that, if you have the truth, the truth does win out in science and medicine, eventually. :-)




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