Medical notes this week…

About a quarter of people who develop the brain plaques of Alzheimer’s disease apparently can compensate for the deficit, and don’t develop symptoms such as dementia. Now scientists are developing a drug that could help boost those compensatory mechanisms. The drug is called BPN14770 for now, and a small study in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics shows it may help protect against the toxic effects of amyloid beta plaques in the brain. It may also protect against some developmental disabilities and schizophrenia.

Scientists may have found a way to roll back your biological age. A small study in the journal Nature shows that a cocktail of two diabetes drugs and a growth hormone turned back the clock by two and a half years in nine healthy men age 51 to 65, and rejuvenated their immune systems as well. In six of the subjects, the effects lasted six months after the trial was over. Scientists are advising not getting too optimistic yet, since the trial was so small. 

And finally, eating a high-fat diet produces changes in the brain within three days that can lead to weight gain. A study on mice in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that a high fat diet produces inflammation in the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that regulates body weight. From there, scientists traced a chain of proteins that eventually prompt overeating and weight gain.

“About a quarter of people who develop the brain plaques of Alzheimer’s disease apparently can compensate for the deficit, and don’t develop symptoms such as dementia. Now scientists are developing a drug that could help boost those compensatory mechanisms.”


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