Surgery News

Drinking and smoking brings dementia on earlier

November 04, 2015

The researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Florida, claim that the number of people who have Alzheimer's would be reduced if heavy smoking and drinking were reduced or eliminated.

The researchers also believe that a delay in the onset of Alzheimer's disease by five years would lead to a 50% drop in the number of cases.

The team led by Dr. Ranjan Duara say their findings showed heavy drinking and smoking were two of the most important preventable risk factors for the condition.

Those taking part in the study had been diagnosed with possible or probable Alzheimer's disease and their smoking and drinking history was obtained from family members.

Heavy drinking, defined as more than two drinks a day was found to lead to an almost five-year earlier onset of Alzheimer's and those who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day developed the disease two years sooner.

Other research also revealed that people with a specific gene - APOE variant 4 - developed Alzheimer's disease three years earlier than those without the gene variant and people with high cholesterol in their early 40s were one and a half times more likely to develop Alzheimer's.

All three risk factors together were associated with onset of the disease 8.5 years earlier than those with none of the risk factors.

Experts say the research supports a body of evidence that shows drinking and smoking increase the risk of developing dementia.

They say the best way to reduce such a risk is to eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, exercise regularly, not smoke and drink only in moderation.

They also stress the importance of regular checks for blood pressure and cholesterol throughout life.

Dementia is devastating for both the individual and their family and also places a huge burden on society and as many as 500,000 Australians are currently living with dementia.

The research was presented at an American Academy of Neurology.

Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s business consists of two segments: its 100% ownership of development stage biotechnology company Raptor Pharmaceutical Inc. ("Raptor Inc."); and its 100% ownership of clinical-stage development company Bennu Pharmaceuticals Inc. Raptor Inc. bioengineers novel drug candidates and drug-targeting platforms derived from the human receptor- associated protein ("RAP") and related proteins, while Bennu advances clinical-stage product candidates towards marketing approval and commercialization.

Raptor Inc.'s preclinical programs target cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases. HepTide is designed to utilize engineered RAP-based peptides conjugated to drugs to target their delivery to the liver to potentially treat primary liver cancer and hepatitis. In neurodegenerative diseases, engineered RAP peptides called NeuroTrans are currently undergoing evaluation at Stanford University in cell culture and preclinical models for their ability to enhance the transport of molecules from blood to brain. In an effort to protect its novel approach, Raptor Inc. currently has five patent applications in review in the U.S., and countries in Europe and Asia, as well as two provisional patent applications licensed from Washington University. In addition, Raptor Inc. has recently submitted two new provisional patent applications in the U.S., the first of which covers a new family of RAP peptides, and the second application to further support and expand its coverage in specific disease indications.

Bennu executes the clinical development of product candidates developed internally at Raptor and in-licensed candidates that are: 1) new chemical entities in mid-to-late stage clinical development; 2) currently approved drugs with potential efficacy in additional indications; and 3) treatments that may be repurposed or reformulated as potentially more effective or convenient treatments for their currently approved indications. Bennu's initial clinical programs include the treatment of aldehyde dehydrogenase ("ALDH2") deficiency and nephropathic cystinosis.