[ExI] Jaw-dropping CWRU Alzheimer's breakthrough?

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Feb 18 16:47:22 UTC 2012

On Behalf Of Rafal Smigrodzki

Subject: Re: [ExI] Jaw-dropping CWRU Alzheimer's breakthrough?

>>>Any work done in amyloid mice is likely to be useless - the models are
on many levels...Rafal

>>Thanks Rafal, I came to the same conclusion with great regret.

 >"It is maddening difficult to tell if these medications work." .spike

> >.It is very sad that we live in a time and milieu where physicians and
pharmaceutical industry, biomedical research establishment and popular and
special press, are not to be trusted, and where the responsibility for
testing and advancing new therapies lies with individual enthusiasts. Really
sad. But is it hopeless?  Ilia


That is one way to look at it, but I have an alternate take for you.  The
finding was announced on the internet a week ago.  It perfused the internet
immediately.  Within hours I found annual sales of Targretin at 140 million
per year and the cost per year, divided through and estimated about a
hundred thousand Targretin devourers.  Next I asked myself, if I had a
bottle of Targretin (or any other of half a dozen medications that contain
bexarotene) what would I do upon reading the announcement?  What would you
do?  What I would do is take my bottle of medications and immediately give
it to the nearest Alzheimer's patient.  Most of us know one or more, a
parent, a grandparent, parent of a friend, a suffering neighbor, perhaps a
former colleague. 


If you are one of the fortunate few whose family has been untouched by this
disease, you might go down to the local memory care facility, find a person
visiting a patient, and quietly slip the bottle of meds to that person,
perhaps without saying a word, for words would be unnecessary.  Everyone who
is down there has heard of this stuff and would know what to do if a kind
stranger offered them the meds.  The kind of skin cancer Targretin treats is
not likely to slay the patient, at least not immediately, but if Targretin
does in humans what it does for mice, then you could save countless lives by
your act of charity.  I would be down there to that care facility that day,
not tomorrow, not next week, NOW!  Yesterday isn't soon enough.


So, I can't imagine I am so different from others.  If I would do this, at
least some of the hundred thousand Targretin eaters would do likewise, and
would sit down there for a few hours to see if the medication did anything,
and if so, the chatter on the internet about that would be so loud it would
drown out most other discussion.  But I can find nada.  So apparently this
stuff doesn't do anything, in which case we have another Aricept equivalent
on our hands.


So on the contrary to sad and hopeless, we now have the infrastructure for
information to pervade the patient community quickly, with results (if
positive) being learned by all involved.  Within days I had already figured
out approximately how to make reagent grade bexarotene available for
Alzheimer's patients to use for washing hands (dissolved in dimethyl
sulfoxide so that it permeates the skin, carrying with it solutes) so that
it technically is not a medication but rather a hand soap you know.  


This is the poster child medical discovery in the age of widespread internet
use, and a perfect example of what Gregory Stock wrote about in Metaman.  We
are wired together.  Information moves quickly.  This is a good thing, even
though it turned out to be disappointing: the lack of signal causes me to
conclude the promise of bexarotene was apparently a mirage.






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