Alzheimer's Disease


Abominable Snowman
Aug 5, 2002
Ok, this is only in mice, but I thought it warranted a mention, because this a field of research where there are generally precious few breakthroughs in a rehabilitative sense. I wonder where the origins of the antibody they used lie?

"Scientists have reversed the damage caused to the brain by Alzheimer's disease during tests on mice.

The US team used an antibody to remove the build up of potentially damaging deposits from the area of the brain responsible for memory and cognition.

The treatment reversed the nerve cell damage in days, Washington University School of Medicine researchers said.

UK experts described the findings as "exciting".

Prior to the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, it was thought that once the damage had been caused to the brain there was no way of repairing it.

Lead author Robert Brendza said: "We thought that clearing the plaques (deposits) would halt the progression of the damage.

"But what we saw was much more striking - in just three days there were 20 to 25% reductions in the number or six of the existing swellings."

He said more research was needed to see if the effects could be repeated in humans with the degenerative brain disorder for which there is no cure.

It is estimated that 2% to 5% of people over 65 years of age and up to 20% of those over 85 years of age have Alzheimer's.

The cause of the disease is not known although people with Alzheimer's do have a build up of abeta, a glycoprotein, which could be responsible for the nerve cell damage.

Mice with a build up of abeta were injected with the antibody and then using a dye to give detailed images of the nerve cell branches, the team were able to monitor the improvement over a few days.

"From the details that I've seen, these could be very interesting results.

Alzheimer's Research Trust deputy chief executive Harriet Millward said: "This new work is particularly interesting since it seems the nerve cells that were damaged in Alzheimer's disease were able to partly recover after the plaques cleared."

But she added: "We are still a long way from finding an answer to Alzheimer's, but by learning more about the disease process, we will be able to accelerate progress towards ways to treat and prevent this devastating condition."

Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said several researchers across the world were also looking into the use of antibodies.

But she added: "The research in animal models reported here is exciting because it provides additional, important information about how abeta antibodies may reverse the signs of disease in neurons.

"However, there is still a lot to learn about what happens to the brain cells during Alzheimer's, and what these antibodies do to reverse the situation."
Alzheimer's 'faster in educated'

Alzheimer's disease progresses more rapidly in highly educated people, research suggests.
It is thought high levels of education may ward off Alzheimer's by helping the brain better tolerate damaging changes.

But the latest study, involving 312 Alzheimer's patients, suggests once accumulated damage reaches a critical level, decline is relatively swift.

The study, by New York's Columbia University, features in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The researchers monitored 312 people aged 65 and older who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's for five years.

Each patient underwent a battery of tests to assess their neurological function.

Overall mental agility declined every year among all the patients.

But each additional year of education equated to an additional 0.3% deterioration per year.

Memory affected

The level of this drop-off was particularly evident in the speed of thought processes and memory.

It was independent of age, mental ability at diagnosis, or other factors likely to affect brain function, such as depression and vascular disease.

The researchers said one possible explanation is what has been dubbed the "cognitive reserve" theory.

This holds that highly educated people either have a greater number of nerve connections in their brains, or the nerve connections that they have are more efficient.

Therefore, when the damaging changes associated with Alzheimer's - such as the deposition of toxic protein clumps - start to take place, educated people are better placed to resist their effect at first.

However, the subsequent impact is likely to be greater than it would be in less educated brains, because of the higher levels of accumulated damage.

Harriet Millward, of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, praised the study for following a large group of people, and assessing them in a community, rather than a clinic setting.

However, she said it was difficult to draw firm conclusions, as there were many factors which could determine the progression of the disease.

"These effects are subtle and not easy to test so, despite the thoroughness of the study, further evidence is needed before we can make any conclusions," she said.

"A key question remains whether these effects are truly due to years of schooling or due to other factors related to education, such as wealth, occupation or lifestyle."
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Loneliness link with Alzheimer's

People who are lonely are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, a large US study has suggested.
The findings come from a study of more than 800 elderly patients, who were followed over a four-year period.

Social isolation has already been shown to be linked to dementia but this is the first time researchers have looked at how alone people actually felt.

Writing in Archives of General Psychiatry, the researchers said the reason for the link was not yet clear.

Study leader Professor Robert Wilson and colleagues assessed participants loneliness by asking people to rate from one to five whether they agreed with certain statements related to loneliness on an annual basis.

Questions posed to those being studied included "I experience a general sense of emptiness" and "I often feel abandoned".

People in the study were also assessed for signs of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

And autopsies were carried out on 90 patients who died during the study to look for certain physical signs associated with Alzheimer's disease such as deposits of protein outside and around nerve cells.

The team found that the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease increased by 51% for each point of the loneliness score.

Those with the highest loneliness score of 3.2 had about 2.1 times the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to those with a low score of 1.4.

When the researchers factored in social isolation, such as if people had a small social network, the results did not change significantly.

However there was no association between loneliness and the brain pathology associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Physical impact

Professor Wilson, professor of neuropsychology at Rush University Medical Centre said: "There are two ideas that we should take away, number one is it suggests that loneliness really is a risk factor and secondly in trying to understand that association we need to look outside the typical neuropathology."

He said the results ruled out the possibility that loneliness is a reaction to dementia.

It may be that loneliness may affect systems in the brain dealing with cognition and memory, making lonely people more vulnerable to effects of age-related decline in neural pathways, he suggested.

"We need to be aware that loneliness doesn't just have an emotional impact but a physical impact," he said.

Rebecca Wood chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust said: "This is an impressive study. It follows a large group of people for a significant period of time and comes up with startling findings that back up earlier studies examining social interaction and Alzheimer's risk.

"What I find particularly interesting about this study is the fact that it is an individual's perception of being lonely rather than their actual degree of social isolation that seems to correlate most closely with their Alzheimer's risk."

Dr Susan Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society agreed: "The study demonstrates a clear link between less social activity and a higher risk of dementia symptoms.

"However, it is interesting that the people who died during the study and had demonstrated symptoms of dementia did not have relatively more physical signs of Alzheimer's disease in the brain.

"More research is needed to understand the exact link between loneliness and dementia symptoms."
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I realize that this is an unpopular view today but I, too, believe that Alzheirmers is reversible. That is, I regard the operative centers of the brain as much more placqued over than destroyed.

My own Mother died of Alzheimers, and she is a case in point. The last time my Mom, Dad and I were all three of us together, Mom had not spoken nor recognized anybody in several years. The doctors all said agreed her mind was "completely gone."

Yet on that day as Dad and I prepared to leave together he put his fingers under her head, gently lifted her chin and gave Mom a kiss on the lips.

Mother responded with the very first words she'd spoken in years: "Bud [his nickname], please don't make a fool of yourself in front of our son."

Do I have to add that that was a fairly complex sentence for "mind entirely gone"?
My gran died of Alzheimers as well, but also had her rare lucid days. Apparently it's quite common for sufferers to do so, but only occasionally. If only the doctors could work out a way of keeping them that way.
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gncxx said:
If only the doctors could work out a way of keeping them that way.

First we have to discover the WHY of those lucid moments.
Alzheimer's Question

I come from an Alzheime's family but according to both my primary care physician and a clinical psychologist I "don't show even the slightest signs of that affliction."

But I DO have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).

Now I'm sure you've all seen MRI scans of OCD brains - all lit up like Christmas trees, even the areas that are generally "dark" in "normal" individuals.

Question: Does all that extra electrical activity coursing and pulsing through the brain prevent the formation of Alzheimers placque?
Here's something else interesting:

Over a period of several decades a consortium of Cincinnati hospitals sponsored and monitored a study of older Roman Catholic nuns, from age 50 on, to see what percentage of them would develope Alzheimers and similar senile dementias.

This was reported in a long series of lengthy articles in the CINCINNATI POST around 15 or 20 years ago.

One of these nuns died at 98. Up to within a few weeks of her death she'd been extremely alert, actively following TV and radio news and informational programs as well as reading daily newspapers, books and magazines in three or four languages.

When the autopsy was performed on this woman the pathologists expected to find an Alzheimers-free brain.

What they found, instead, was a brain severely placqued-over, and in their opinion it had been so for many years.

She should have been a vegetable, they said.

Use it or lose it.
Here's a more cerebral reason to lower your cholesterol
08 February 2007
From New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.

An unhealthy western diet could harm more than just your waistline - it may also increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Earlier work on mice fed high-cholesterol diets found that their brain cells produced more amyloid beta, a protein linked to Alzheimer's. There is also evidence that taking cholesterol-lowering statins makes people less likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer's.

To better understand this link, Brett Garner of the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute in Sydney, Australia, and his colleagues used human and animal cells to probe how neurons regulate their levels of cholesterol.

They found that "ABC proteins", which help control cholesterol levels in arterial walls by expelling cholesterol from the immune cells called macrophages where it builds up, were also present in neurons. When the team over-expressed the genes for these proteins in hamster and human cell lines, production of amyloid beta protein fell (Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol 282, p 2851).

The work also showed that an extracellular protein called apoE is extremely good at regulating cholesterol removal from neurons. One form of the gene for apoE is already recognised as the major genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Garner suggests that drugs that increase expression of ABC transporters might slow the progression of Alzheimer's. Such drugs are already being used in cardiovascular research. "A lot of people think there could be converging factors involved in these diseases," Garner says. ... 325905.200
I've long suspected that the best way to avoid Alzheimers, even in Alzheimers-prone families, is by constantly absorbing, down the decades, more and more and still more information on an extremely wide variety of subjects. Moreover, the physicians with whom I've discussed this with have agreed with me and informed me that I've "done everything right."

Question: what is the Alzheimers rate among veteran Forteans?
A sad and unusual case:

Woman who discovered she was pregnant while having scans for Alzheimer's now doesn't recognise her newborn daughter
By Richard Shears
Last updated at 8:32 AM on 12th April 2010

It should have been one of the happiest moments of her life.
But when Rebecca Doig gave birth to her first child last week, she was tragically indifferent.
The 31-year- old has a rare form of Alzheimer's that has advanced so rapidly during her pregnancy that she can no longer recognise her baby daughter Emily.
Mrs Doig - who is thought to be one of the first women to give birth at such a late stage of the disease - is unable to look after herself and instead relies on round-the-clock care.

Her husband Scott, a council worker, said: 'She has gone from being an independent, outgoing and bright young woman to someone who doesn't recognise her own newborn daughter. The road ahead is going to be extremely difficult, there's no two ways about it.
'We just take every day as it comes because there's not a lot we can do about it. I have a wife and now a little girl to look after. But she is my life and I am not giving up on her.'

He said that the couple, who live in Sydney, Australia, first realised there was a problem when Mrs Doig began to forget where she had put everyday items such as her handbag and began to isolate herself from her friends and family.
It was during tests to determine the cause of her memory loss, that she discovered she was pregnant last August.
However, the couple's happiness was shattered just days later when doctors diagnosed Mrs Doig with Familial Alzheimer's, a form of early-onset dementia.
Although the condition is similar to the more common type that strikes the elderly, it can cause very rapid memory loss, with sufferers within months. There is no known cure.


Read more: ... z0ksQNjA6S
Arc protein 'could be key to memory loss', says study

Scientists have discovered more about the role of an important brain protein which is instrumental in translating learning into long-term memories.
Writing in Nature Neuroscience, they said further research into the Arc protein's role could help in finding new ways to fight neurological diseases.
The same protein may also be a factor in autism, the study said.

Recent research found Arc lacking in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Dr Steve Finkbeiner, professor of neurology and physiology at the University of California, who led the research at Gladstone Institutes, said lab work showed that the role of the Arc protein was crucial.
"Scientists knew that Arc was involved in long-term memory, because mice lacking the Arc protein could learn new tasks, but failed to remember them the next day," he said.

Further experiments revealed that Arc acted as a "master regulator" of the neurons during the process of long-term memory formation.
The study explained that during memory formation, certain genes must be switched on and off at very specific times in order to generate proteins that help neurons lay down new memories.
The authors found that it was Arc that directed this process, from inside the nucleus.

Dr Finkbeiner said people who lack the protein could have memory problems.
"Scientists recently discovered that Arc is depleted in the hippocampus, the brain's memory centre, in Alzheimer's disease patients.
"It's possible that disruptions to the homeostatic scaling process may contribute to the learning and memory deficits seen in Alzheimer's."

The study says that dysfunctions in Arc production and transport could also be a vital player in autism.
The genetic disorder Fragile X syndrome, for example, which is a common cause of both mental disabilities and autism, directly affects the production of Arc in neurons.

The Californian research team said they hoped further research into the Arc protein's role in human health and disease would provide even deeper insights into these disorders and lay the groundwork for new therapeutic strategies to fight them.
Penzance 1950s shop helps dementia patients

A 1950s-style shop is helping support patients with dementia at a Penzance care home.
The shop at Trevaylor Manor has been designed to look and feel like one from that era.
Items include vintage packaging, ration books, old coins, sweets and even broken biscuits for three shillings.

The home says although nothing in the shop is for sale, it stimulates many nostalgic conversations among its patients.
Project manager Sue Godfrey got the idea from a conference last year on the importance of reminiscing for dementia patients.
She said: "Most people with dementia have short-term memory problems. So while they may not remember what happened yesterday, or even this morning, very often their long-term memory is intact.
"We come into the shop with a group of residents and they swap memories."
She said that the home was now planning a 1950s pub.

"The amount of laughter that you hear is just amazing," she said.
"It has such a positive effect on them because they become the teller instead of being told."
The Alzheimer's Society said Trevaylor Manor shop was an "innovative and stimulating" way of improving the quality of life for people with dementia.

"The 1950's shop is a good example of reminiscence therapy at work, using items from the past to trigger conversations and to help people with dementia to access older memories," society spokesman George McNamara said.
"It is important to remember that people with dementia have different interests and hobbies and so care homes need to make sure they can offer a varied and interactive living environment with different activities."
I read in the paper today that drinking hot chocolate regularly can prevent Alzheimer's. Sounds like a good excuse for a treat at supper, too.
Good hygiene may be to blame for soaring Alzheimer's
Modern cities and improved hygiene could be behind rising rates of Alzheimer's in Britain and the rest of the developed world, scientists have said.
By Laura Donnelly and agencies
4:00PM BST 04 Sep 2013

Researchers have linked the "hygiene hypothesis" - the idea that lack of exposure to germs, viruses and parasites harms the immune system - to rising rates of dementia in richer nations.
A new study by Cambridge University compared dementia cases in 192 countries and found it was more common in those with better sanitation and less disease.

Countries where everyone has access to clean drinking water, such as the UK and France, have nine per cent higher Alzheimer's rates then average.
In comparison those where less than half have access, such as Kenya and Cambodia, have a significantly lower incident rate.
Taken together, infection levels, sanitation and urbanisation account for 43 per cent of the variation in rates of Alzheimer's between different countries, the study found.

Dr Molly Fox, from Cambridge University, who led the new research published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, said: "The 'hygiene hypothesis', which suggests a relationship between cleaner environments and a higher risk of certain allergies and autoimmune diseases, is well established.
"We believe we can now add Alzheimer's to this list of diseases. There are important implications for forecasting future global disease burden, especially in developing countries as they increase in sanitation."

The charity The Alzheimer’s Society said the theory was interesting, but did not demonstrate the cause of the variation.

etc... ... imers.html

Hmm... Perhaps I'll put off doing the housework for a few more weeks - a little bit of dirt never hurt anybody! ;)
rynner2 said:
Good hygiene may be to blame for soaring Alzheimer's ... imers.html

Hmm... Perhaps I'll put off doing the housework for a few more weeks - a little bit of dirt never hurt anybody! ;)

According to Wiki, "In the early stages, the most common symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events."

Also in today's Telegraph:
Jack Nicholson 'retires from acting because of memory loss'

"There is a simple reason behind his decision – it's memory loss," a source told Radar. "Quite frankly, at 76, Jack has memory issues and can no longer remember the lines being asked of him". ... -loss.html
Hmmm. The hygiene-Alzheimer's correlation.

Surely those countries with the highest standards of hygiene have a higher percentage of older people than those countries with the lowest standards of hygiene?
Dementia cases 'set to treble worldwide' by 2050
By James Gallagher, Health and science reporter, BBC News

The number of people living with dementia worldwide is set to treble by 2050, according to a new analysis.
Alzheimer's Disease International says 44 million people live with the disease, but that figure will increase to 135 million by 2050.
The figures were released ahead of the G8 dementia summit in London next week.

In the UK, dementia research receives one eighth of the amount of funding that is spent on cancer, which charities say is insufficient.

Alzheimer's Disease International expects increasing life expectancies to drive a surge in cases in poor and middle-income countries, particularly in South East Asia and Africa.
Currently 38% of cases are in rich countries. But that balance is predicted shift significantly by 2050, with 71% of patients being in poor and middle-income countries.
The report says most governments are "woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic".

Marc Wortmann, the executive director at Alzheimer Disease International, said: "It's a global epidemic and it is only getting worse - if we look into the future the numbers of elderly people will rise dramatically."

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the UK's Alzheimer's Society, said: "Dementia is fast becoming the biggest health and social care challenge of this generation.
"We must tackle dementia now, for those currently living with the condition across the world and for those millions who will develop dementia in the future.
"The G8 is our once-in-a-generation chance to conquer this condition and we must see meaningful action after the talking is over."

Rebecca Wood, the chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Increasing numbers of people affected by dementia worldwide is cause for alarm, but research can stem the tide.
"An intervention to delay the onset of Alzheimer's by five years could halve the number of people who die with the disease, having a transformative impact on millions of people's lives.
"This progress can only come through research and these figures are a timely reminder of the scale of the challenge ahead of the G8 dementia research summit."
Alzheimer's research 'needs new strategy'
By Helen Briggs, BBC News

A shift in medical research priorities is needed to meet the challenge of fighting dementia, say animal welfare campaigners.
Animal research into new therapies has failed to deliver after years of experiments, they say.
Instead, labs should focus on human-based models such as brain scanning or studies of cells grown from patients.

Alzheimer's Research UK said no single approach could provide answers to such a complex disease.

Dr Gillian Langley, a scientist and consultant for the animal welfare charity, Humane Society International, is among a growing body of scientists who believe current research relies too much on animal models.
"Medical research is at a tipping point," she told BBC News.
"There is a growing realisation that animal studies are not producing the breakthroughs we're hoping for."

Writing in the journal Drug Discovery Today, she said it was time to consider a new paradigm in medical research for Alzheimer's disease.
Research was "lagging behind" areas such as toxicology, which is using research based on molecular disease pathways within cells and new tools such as genomics, she said.
"We need this overarching view - a new framework so we can use these 21st Century tools."

Patients in the very early stages of dementia could miss out on a potentially effective treatment after misleading research was published last year, say medical experts.

The researchers, who claimed that B vitamins were 'sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer's disease'1, have been strongly criticised.

Clinicians and scientists have labelled the statement 'inaccurate and misleading', voicing concerns that the unjustified claim could bias research funding and health policy decisions, as well as having a negative impact on patient welfare.

Dr Peter Garrard, of the Cardiovascular and Cell Sciences Research Institute at St George's, University of London, said that the analysis of previous clinical trial data published last year cast no doubt whatever on the potential of folic acidand vitamin B-12 to prevent dementia, and that the lead author's comments were 'unjustified and misleading'.

Dr Garrard pointed out that taking B vitamins lowers blood levels of a molecule (homocysteine), which in high concentrations acts as a potent risk factor for dementia. He highlighted the 'first-rate scientific evidence that the use of B vitamins confers both biological and neuropsychological benefits' on individuals aged over 70 who had noticed a recent decline in their cognitive abilities. ...
A study suggests that a chemical in dark chocolate and red wine can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. But how conclusive is the data, and does this mean we should all drink more wine? New Scientist looks at the evidence.

What is resveratrol?
Found in grapes, red wine and dark chocolate, many claims have been made about resveratrol. It has been touted as a potential panacea for a range of age-related disorders, including cancer, diabetes and neurological problems, but so far most of the data supporting these claims has come from lab studies and work in animals. There have been only a few, small studies in humans.

How might resveratrol protect us from age-related illness?
Extremely calorie-restricted diets greatly reduce age-related diseases in lab animals. This is thought to happen through the activation of a group of enzymes called sirtuins, which seem to affect gene expression and protect against the effects of stress, including a poor diet.

The hope is that resveratrol activates sirtuins to get the same benefits – like preventing the onset of age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s – without having to stick to such a low-energy diet. But some experiments have suggested slowed ageing from caloric restriction may not be down to sirtuins after all.

What does the latest study show?
To see if resveratrol could delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in people , Scott Turner at Georgetown University Medical Centre in Washington DC and his team gave 119 people with mild to moderate symptoms of the disease either a gram of synthesised resveratrol twice a day in pills for a year, or a placebo. ...|NSNS|2015-GLOBAL-twitter
MHA release video showing impact of music therapy on a Falmouth woman with Alzheimer's
By WBgdavies | Posted: May 17, 2017
Video: 1m 39s

Joyce Williams loved music and dancing. When she was coping with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease and feeling increasingly confused and isolated as the condition progressed, music therapy helped unlock those feelings of joy once again.

Now a video showing the moving response from the Falmouth resident, then aged 90, in the final stages of Alzheimer's in which she joyfully exclaims "you've brought me back to life" during a session has attracted more than 25,000 views since it was released on Friday.

The video, which was released by MHA, an elderly care charity, during Dementia Awareness Week, was recorded by music therapist Richard Trethewey during a session at the Langholme home in Falmouth.


Joyce Williams with her husband Bill.

It was released at the request of Joyce's family following her death as they wanted more people to understand the impact the therapy can have on those living with dementia and to support fundraising efforts to provide it for more people.

They are calling on businesses to sponsor music therapy in homes within their communities so more people can receive the treatment. Currently MHA provides the therapy for free at its homes, but less than one per cent of people living with dementia receive any such therapy.

"Music has a way of bridging the gap, spanning generations in a particular way," said her granddaughter Jennifer Webster. "For the person living with dementia and their families you get to a point when you have to live in the moment and to live for that moment. The key then is to gather these moments together and turn them into memories, especially for those of us surrounding that person. The music therapy Nan received, thanks to MHA, helped her live in the moment, giving her peace and happiness at a time when she was often disorientated and troubled.

"As Nan's Alzheimer's progressed she became increasingly muddled, which lead to her withdrawing and becoming highly anxious. This meant Nan, a joyful woman – who loved music and dancing throughout her life – became difficult to care for as she simply didn't understand what was happening around her."

"The last few years have been really hard. The therapy didn't make a difference overall in terms of her long term condition, but if someone can have glimpses in their day or week where they are happy and getting joy it makes a difference to us as a family. I wish music therapy was more readily available to people living with dementia. Sessions cost £30, which at MHA homes are funded by them. However, fundraising needs to be increased so that more homes can offer this therapy to more people."

I just saw the classic film Three Faces of Eve. While watching it there was a description of Eve losing a personality in the film being connected to an earlier trauma, how some personalities had memories of the past but others didn't, and how finally remembering the trauma allowed a few of the personalities to die off in favor of a stronger personality. I know it's not exactly the reality as suffered by Chris Costner Sizemore in real life, but the personalities did reminded me of how in Alzheimer's the sufferer loses connection with deep memories until they fade away, and how some parts of the mind can connect to other parts while others can't. Has anybody done any work comparing brain activity scans of Alzheimer's patients with that of genuine sufferers of Multiple Personality Disorder to see if alternative neural connections are being made?
Some cursory searching turns up DID / MPD literature alluding to Alzheimer's and vice versa, but merely in passing - sometimes solely in terms of reference listings' titles.

The paper (I've found ...) that seems to come closest to addressing a connection is this 2013 one:

Marie-Lou Eustache, Mickael Laisney, Aurelija Juskenaite, Odile Letortu, Herv ́e Platel, et al.. Sense of identity in advanced Alzheimer’s dementia: a cognitive dissociation between sameness and selfhood?. Consciousness and Cognition, Elsevier, 2013

It's accessible in PDF at:

Thanks for that - it seems like it's something on the verse of dawning... maybe.
This could be a major development ... A new study indicates Alzheimer's is the result of prion (pathological misfolded and self-replicatng protein) activity involving two prions or prion-like proteins.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a ‘Double-Prion Disorder,’ Study Shows

Two proteins central to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease act as prions — misshapen proteins that spread through tissue like an infection by forcing normal proteins to adopt the same misfolded shape — according to new UC San Francisco research.

Using novel laboratory tests, the researchers were able to detect and measure specific, self-propagating prion forms of the proteins amyloid beta (Aß) and tau in postmortem brain tissue of 75 Alzheimer’s patients. In a striking finding, higher levels of these prions in human brain samples were strongly associated with early-onset forms of the disease and younger age at death.

Alzheimer’s disease is currently defined based on the presence of toxic protein aggregations in the brain known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, accompanied by cognitive decline and dementia. But attempts to treat the disease by clearing out these inert proteins have been unsuccessful. The new evidence that active Aß and tau prions could be driving the disease – published May 1, 2019 in Science Translational Medicine — could lead researchers to explore new therapies that focus on prions directly. ...


This could be a major development ... A new study indicates Alzheimer's is the result of prion (pathological misfolded and self-replicatng protein) activity involving two prions or prion-like proteins.


I remember reading this as speculation, I guess it's been proven now. Alzheimer's affects my family, as it does to those of many, and it really is the saddest thing I can imagine.
A couple of other speculative Theories I've heard:
1) it's caused by a form of syphilis combined with a genetic predisposition
2) BSE may develop late and be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's