Seeing Alzheimer's in the Mind's Eye, 20 Years in Advance

Neurosurgeon Keith Black at Google's Solve for X:


“We are facing a healthcare tsunami because of cognitive decline. A child born in the U.S. today has a 1 in 3 chance of living to 100. But without a cure, Alzheimer’s alone will bankrupt the healthcare system.”


“Alzheimer’s silently starts developing 20 years before the diagnosis. We wait for symptoms, and by then 50% of the brain cells are lost. But the Beta Amyloid protein develops in the brain 20 years before we become symptomatic. How can we detect that? PET scans are low resolution, expensive and radioactive. Spinal taps to get CNS fluid are invasive and unlikely to be a standard screen. What about the retina? It’s an extension of the brain embryonically. “


“Turmeric is an Indian spice rich in the protein curcumin. Curcumin binds to the toxic beta amyloid AB42 protein, and it is brightly fluorescent.”


And it works! He showed cadaver, then animal, then human trials.


“We should give this 20 minute non-invasive test to everyone over 50. Imagine you did not treat diabetes until you had kidney failure. It would be too late. We could start treatments earlier, and study the progression in clinical trials. Perhaps the GRAS (Generally Accepted as Safe) practices could make a difference if started earlier: turmeric, green tea, coffee, physical and mental exercises. Turmeric may be good as a therapy as well as a diagnostic. There is an lower incidence of Alzheimer’s in India, and so it warrants some study. If we can just slow the progression enough, perhaps the aging population could miss the clinical phase of the disease altogether.”

  • cobalt123 PRO 2y

    Great mind map and message. TY for sharing this.
  • scleroplex PRO 2y

    what is a neurosurgeon doing in alzheimer's?
  • js brain 2y

    Indeed! Researchers believe that the people to reach 150 are already alive.
    Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people. Yes, we have to solve this big problem. Thank you Steve for sharing!
  • David Seaton 2y

    js brain I wonder if the vogue for zombies comes from American's fear of death... rather be "living dead" than totally and finally dead. Who would want to live to be 150? Somebody who is 149, I suppose.
  • NYCandre PRO 2y

    Neat - great info, thanks for posting - looking forward to a pointed Solve for X tableau to help figure out how to "get the economy back on track" or why is the general situation so bad (for most people) to put it mildly.
  • jgury 2y

    I guess Dr Black was unavailable to lecture Obama at that prayer breakfast. Or they could not get him to agree to recite proverbs, Biblical verses, and GOP economics along with heartwarming tales of growing up deprived.

    My favorite and highly recommended medical professional to lecture on how to bankrupt the US health care system? Dr Otis Brawley of course.
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