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Category: Kristina Cook 's Blog

01/08/06

Permalink 10:19:00 pm, by admin Email , 232 words, 3746 views   English (UK)
Categories: Kristina Cook 's Blog

Alzheimer's Vaccine from Mice!?

 Alzheimer's Vaccine from Mice!?

An exciting new vaccine has been found to be promising in preventing plaque formation in mice, one of the major causes of Alzheimer’s disease. These plaques are known as amyloid protein plaques. This novel form of a vaccine would be a preventative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, stopping it before it ever began.

The vaccine works to stimulate the immune system to see the plaques as foreign to the body, and the immune system then attacks and destroys the plaques.

What is even more exciting about this vaccine is that it was found to have no side effects in the mice, unlike a previous vaccine the same research group had been working on. The previous vaccine was found to potentially cause swelling or inflammation of the brain. But, this newer vaccine works in a different way, and the preliminary studies in mice have shown none of the previous side effects.

More research is being done to see if this can be taken forward into humans. Let’s hope so!

You can check out the original journal article:
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jun 20;103(25):9619-24. Epub 2006 Jun 12
Nonviral Abeta DNA vaccine therapy against Alzheimer's disease: long-term effects and safety.
Okura Y, Miyakoshi A, Kohyama K, Park IK, Staufenbiel M, Matsumoto Y.

or a BBC article written on it:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5071036.stm

Originally Posted by Kristina Cook.

07/04/06

Permalink 03:15:00 pm, by admin Email , 246 words, 3059 views   English (UK)
Categories: Kristina Cook 's Blog

Recent Breakthrough in Medicine Thanks to Animal Research!

Potential Future Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries

When spinal cord injuries occur, the nerves that are injured can cause further damage to healthy neurons due to a process called demyelination. But studies conducted by scientists on 97 rats found that transplantation of specific cells of the rats own brain soon after the injury (two weeks), led to a gain in coordination and the ability to bear weight on their hind limbs. While previous studies have shown similar results, the difference is that embryonic cells weren’t used but the animals own neural precursor cells.

The animals didn’t recover the ability to walk completely normal, but the results were very promising. They hope that this could also be done in humans one day. One current obstacle for these scientists though, is finding a way to treat those who have been paralyzed for much longer than 2 weeks. When the researchers transplanted the cells in mice with 8 week old injuries, they didn’t see the marked improvement in the mice they had seen with the transplants at 2 weeks. Looks like the researchers will have their work cut out for them, but thanks to their hard work and dedication, maybe it will lead to a treatment for paralysis one day!

The original journal article is:
J Neurosci. (March 29 2006) 26(13):3377-89 Delayed transplantation of adult neural precursor cells promotes remyelination and functional neurological recovery after spinal cord injury. Karimi-Abdolrezaee S, Eftekharpour E, Wang J, Morshead CM, Fehlings MG.

Originally Posted by Kristina Cook.

04/04/06

Permalink 02:37:00 pm, by admin Email , 441 words, 13994 views   English (UK)
Categories: Kristina Cook 's Blog

Why Animal Research is Important AND Needed: A Copy of the Speech I Gave on the February 25th Demonstration

I’m here today to represent students and stand up for what I believe in. We are here to celebrate progress, the pursuit of knowledge and the achievements of medical research that requires animal testing. We are here to support scientists and doctors who are working to save each and every one of us from disease and suffering. We seek to inform the public and are here to encourage rational, open and peaceful debate.

Without research involving animal testing we wouldn’t have insulin to treat diabetes. We wouldn’t have antibiotics for infections, vaccines to prevent disease and surgeries to treat the injured. If this fundamental research is stopped, we won’t find a cure for cancer, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, a vaccine for AIDS, a therapy for Alzheimer’s and a cure for paralysis. ANY further advances in medicine and human health are absolutely dependent on animal research.

Right here in Oxford, countless medical advances have been made – most have required some level of animal testing. These include the discovery of penicillin, treatments for hemophilia and childhood leukemia, and the development and trials of vaccines for meningitis in children. Oxford has helped contribute to our understanding of heart disease, cancer, bird flu, infectious diseases and numerous other illnesses. And if we are able to continue our research with animals, we can help find cures for these illnesses.

Whether these diseases affect us directly or someone we love, we want to know that researchers across the world are working towards a cure. Unfortunately, there are people who want to stop medical progress and are using a variety of tactics to publicize their message from mild to extreme and life threatening. But I’m here today to show that research will not be STOPPED and that humanity will continue to look for ways to improve the quality of our lives. I, like every reasonable person, am all for the ethical treatment of animals – However I also recognize that in order to treat human suffering and advance medical science, animal testing is a necessity.

We all need to be worried for our future if we don’t stand up and support the people saving lives with their research in animals. We cannot let the advancement of knowledge be halted as it was in Cambridge. Progress and the pursuit of knowledge CANNOT be stopped and WILL NOT be stopped, and the proof of it lies in front of me. Let’s stand up for reason, let’s stand up for our rights, and let’s DEMAND that the Oxford lab be constructed without interference and intimidation.

Originally Posted by Kristina Cook.

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