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Alzheimer's Disease

Amyloidosis and Alzheimer's Disease

01/26/2004

Question:

My mother has localized amyloid of the bladder that`s being regularly checked since the diagnosis 18 months ago. Perhaps 3 yrs. ago she began showing basic signs of A.D. and is now confirmed to have moderate A.D. and is taking Reminyl. Since beta amyloid is mentioned in A.D. data, is it possible that the bladder amyloid has caused the Alzheimers? Is there a connection? Is there any treatment to remove the amyloid that might improve or delay the A.D. progress? Thank you!!

Answer:

You are right about beta amyloid being implicated in the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease and certainly bring up an insightful question in trying to understand the connection between bladder amyloid and the amyloid in AD. However, our neurologist, Dr. Peter Whitehouse, comments that amyloid is found in many other diseases besides Alzheimer's disease and does not always have the same chemical composition as in AD. Amyloid is a name given to proteins that form certain specific configurations (i.e. beta-pleated sheets). Therefore, as far as we know, there would not be a direct connection between your mother's bladder disease and AD. Researchers continue to try to understand the role of amyloid in AD and ways to develop drugs that would remove the amyloid, but we are not there yet. The Reminyl that was prescribed to your mother is a treatment that is likely to slow down the progression of AD.

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Response by:

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University