Adapt

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http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-08-2004/0002148679&EDATE=

Researchers at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Link Common
Bacteria to Alzheimer's Disease

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Chlamydia pneumoniae is a common
airborne bacterium that infects as many as 70 percent of the world's
population. In their search for clues to the root causes of Alzheimer's
disease, researchers at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's Center
for the Study of Chronic Diseases of Aging in the Adolph and Rose Levis
Alzheimer's disease Laboratory have found a possible link between this commonrespiratory bacterium and Alzheimer's disease.

In their paper, "Chlamydia pneumoniae induces Alzheimer-like amyloid
plaques in brains of BALB/c mice," published in the April issue of
Neurobiology of Aging, lead researchers Denah Appelt, Ph.D. and Brian Balin,
Ph.D. demonstrate that the bacteria, when sprayed into the noses of mice notpredisposed to amyloid plaques, can cause progressive deposition of these
plaques, in essence creating a partial model of Alzheimer's disease.

This research builds on their previous work, published in Medical
Microbiology and Immunology in 1998 that discovered Chlamydia pneumoniae in 90
percent of brains taken from individuals who had suffered from Alzheimer's
disease.

"We believe this could be a trigger mechanism for the pathology in
Alzheimer's disease," say lead researchers Denah Appelt, Ph.D. and Brian
Balin, Ph.D. "People have been suspecting this for decades but could not find
anything. It is very difficult to pinpoint an infectious cause for a
progressive, chronic disease. We also believe that our isolation of Chlamydia
pneumoniae from the human Alzheimer's diseased brain and induction of
pathology in normal mice is proof of principle that this can be a causative
mechanism turning on pathology."

At one time, Alzheimer's was thought to be a hereditary disease. Research
has shown that only two-to-five percent of Alzheimer's cases have a tie to
genetic mutations. Fifty percent of people who reach age 85 will develop
Alzheimer's disease.

Balin and Appelt are already looking further ahead. They want to set up
clinical trials in patients with late-onset AD to investigate the effect of
typical antibiotics used for treating C. pneumoniae infections. But there is a
lot of controversy now whether any existing antibiotics for C. pneumoniae can truly clear the organism from our bodies. "We will try to intervene by using an antibiotic approach initially," says Balin.

"I think it would offer hope to a patient that would have sporadic AD and would be diagnosed with having Chlamydia infection as well. But in reality we are not sure whether the antibiotic approach will be sufficient to actually eradicate the infection.

Right now, we are thinking that combining antibiotics and anti-inflammatory
drugs might be instrumental in treating AD, but obviously we do not have a
final answer on that."
 

fullefect1

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Who said they aren't good at research? I don't believe I have heard it put this why. It is just stated that DO schools don't do alot of research compared to many MD schools.
 
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Adapt

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fullefect1 said:
Who said they aren't good at research? I don't believe I have heard it put this why. It is just stated that DO schools don't do alot of research compared to many MD schools.
Many people say they don't do as much and they don't have anything published in the good journals. I am pretty sure some people may think that DO schools don't do as good research as MD schools. Just trying to prove that wrong. :)
 

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Good post. I think that a lot of students here at PCOM don't realize the contributions of our basic science faculty, simply because we don't get to work with them every day in their labs.

JP
 

mison

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Very cool article, thanks for posting that. It sounds like PCOM is doing some really nice work in their labs, or at least that one. Do all DO schools have active basic science research departments or is it just the older and larger ones?
 

BigBopper

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Adapt said:
Many people say they don't do as much and they don't have anything published in the good journals. I am pretty sure some people may think that DO schools don't do as good research as MD schools. Just trying to prove that wrong. :)

So 2 Phds publishing a paper in journal constitutes proof? :confused:
 

Amy B

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BigBopper said:
So 2 Phds publishing a paper in journal constitutes proof? :confused:

Of course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cool:
 

PublicHealth

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Research has never been a strength of osteopathic medicine. Slowly, this is changing. The researchers who conducted this study were both PhDs who just so happened to be employed by an osteopathic medical school.

The idea of infectious agents being implicated in Alzheimer Disease is rather controversial, although evolutionary biologists have been talking about it for at least a decade. For a good review of this topic, see "Evolution of Infectious Disease" or "Plague Time" by Paul Ewald, PhD.

When people say that "DO schools aren't good at research," they usually mean that there is a paucity of data supporting the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) in clinical medicine. Slowly, this is beginning to change. There have been a few articles published in respected journals, including in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, in which the efficacy of OMT as a clinical tool has been documented. Several other clinical trials are in progress (http://nccam.nih.gov/clinicaltrials/osteopathicmanipulation.htm)

Osteopathic research should gain some ground over the next couple decades.
 
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