Vaccines and Alzheimers

1 decade 1 month 2 weeks ago Friday, October 26 2007 Oct 26, 2007 Friday, October 26, 2007 3:43:09 PM CDT October 26, 2007 in News

Daniel Garza has the story in this your health report. Families that have loved ones with Alzheimer's -- are often caught off guard when it strikes.

That's because there is little warning. And its onset can leave families reeling.

"You go through all the signs of grief -- the anger and the disappointment and the hostility all those things all at one time," said nurse Barbara Masterson.

Researchers at Stanford University and the VA hospital in Palo Alto say they tried a different method of tracing Alzheimer's by looking at the blood.

"It's so obvious to look at the blood," said researcher Mark Britschgi.

They studied 120 proteins from blood samples of 87 patients.

Researchers narrowed down the field of 18 signaling proteins in patients with early and advanced stages of Alzheimer's.

Researcher Marcus Britschgi says the simple blood test gives an accurate picture of what's going on in a patient's body.

"Not just "I feel something is wrong in my body, but I feel something is wrong in my body, but what is actually wrong in my body and the blood might open a window to look into your brain very early on," said Britschgi.

As early as two to six years earlier, which could mean starting treatment earlier to slow down the progress of the disease.

The research could also lead to more effective drugs -- raising hope for a cure one day.

"These signaling proteins which we found carry information about what it going wrong in our body. We can now track back hopefully which cells are involved in producing these signaling proteins," said Britschgi.

"We would all like a cure or an even an idea what causes it -- or why it's happening so much more often than it used to," said Masterson.

Obesity

Obesity is a serious condition for any one, but researchers say even more so for postmenopausal women.

Researchers at the University of Central Florida found women are more likely to gain weight than men, especially as we grow older.

 Being overweight or obese increased risk heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and sleep apnea.

Researchers say nurses and doctors need to intervene because chronic conditions related to obesity just get worse with age.

HPV Controversy

A decision to vaccinate schoolgirls has sparked a heated debate in the UK. The British government decided to vaccinate girls as young as 12-years-old against the human papilloma virus.

The goal is to prevent sexually active girls from getting the infection linked to cervical cancer. Officials estimate one million die from HPV every year.

Here in the U.S., people objected to having their children take the vaccine as well.

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