Article: Alzheimer’s Disease Is Completely Reversed By Removing Just One Enzyme In New Study

Article link is here.  See below for the article:

An experimental treatment completely reversed Alzheimer’s disease in mice by reducing the levels of a single enzyme in the animals’ brains. The results further bolster the theory that amyloid plaques are at the root of this mysterious brain disease, and that addressing these plaques could lead to an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s.

The study, published February 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, found that slowly reducing levels of the enzyme BACE1 in mice as they aged either prevented or reversed the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Amyloid plaques, formed when bits of protein clump together in the brain, are found in high amounts in Alzheimer’s patients. BACE1 is a protein that naturally forms in the brain and helps produce beta-amyloid peptide, a protein also involved with brain plaque formation.

Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic theorized that reducing BACE1 in the brain would have a trickle-down effect, reducing plaque formation. In their experiment, they examined mice bred to both develop Alzheimer’s and gradually produce less BACE1 enzyme as they age, the latter through the removal of a crucial gene. These mice should have developed Alzheimer’s disease, but without BACE1, they did not. Instead, they developed normally and remained healthy well into old age.

The researchers observed that reducing BACE1 levels not only prevented Alzheimer’s in mice, but also reversed the disease in animals who had already begun to show signs.

Offspring of the original BACE1 knockout mice also showed a similar reduction in their BACE1 levels. But these offspring did not have the initial protection from the disease and eventually began to form brain plaques. As the second generation of mice continued to age, though, they continued to lose BACE1 activity. Eventually, their brain plaques began to disappear. By the end of the study, the mice offspring showed absolutely no plaques at all in their brain.

Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine told Newsweek that the results were promising and added further evidence that BACE1 inhibitor could be an effective Alzheimer’s treatment. But he warned that it’s too early to celebrate just yet. Mice are too different from humans for us to take these results as anything.

“The completely other side of the coin is that 99 percent of all clinical drug trials [for Alzheimer’s disease] have failed, and we don’t know why,” said Isaacson, who was not involved in the new study. “Maybe amyloid [plaque buildups] isn’t the right target.”

And even if amyloids are the right target, Isaacson explained, we’d still have a minimum of five to seven years before we would know if the same approach is helpful in humans.

Still, Dr. Daniel Franc, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, said that regardless of whether this exact finding can be successfully translated to humans, the results are still important.

“I would say that this is an incremental finding. It’s not revolutionary, but it does add further support to current ongoing approaches,” said Franc, adding that if anything, the research simply gives him hope that we are on the right path to finding a viable treatment. “I don’t think there has ever been a better time to think that we will have interventions for Alzheimer’s.”



Random Bidtits (4/18/2018)

Great, now I’m stuck with the vegetarian options when flying United. Speaking of unconventional kitchen work, check out this awesome kitchen tile:

Also, did you know that Taco Bell offers its hot sauce at grocery stores?!?

One more food item:

Keep it real, hombres.

Song of the Day (4/16/2018)

We begin with a snippet from a Bloomberg article:

In memory of Back Page, which I must admit, I never actually visited until seized by the federalis, todays song of the day is Big Pimpin’ by Jay-Z. Candidly, the song sucks and the artist is even worse but I have to pay homage to pimpin in all its forms, even Pill Cosby’s unique angle on the pimp roll:

In other news, I came across the following sign which provides an appropriate shoutout to Arch Stanton and his recent guest post on edible Star Wars characters.

And finally, back to the basics of Musings and Malarkey. This blog was originally intended to be a shrine to two great American Superheroes: Ronald Reagan and John Wayne. During a recent visit to Bass Pro Shops, I perused the six shooters (author note: in reality, I’m still against firearms and the second amendment has been stretched too far) and found the following which are absolutely amazing. Considering buying one for my John Wayne shrine:

These firearms would be highly complementary to this mustache (two photos, same man):

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Mark Zuckerberg vs. Congress

As I am sure you are aware, America’s vengeful nerd king faced off against a board of Senators who we were very pleased were able to avoid asking about “how to download the wifi” or to explain what memes were. The purpose of this hearing was… to, ahh… well, it was never made abundantly clear. I guess the Cambridge Analytica stuff? Don’t fret, because our Senators made sure to really rack Zuckerberg over the coals by giving him the authentic Facebook experience — a confused cluster of septuagenarians complaining about things they don’t completely understand. At one point, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS, 66 years old) became perplexed after Zuck mentioned using cookies to track Facebook users. “Oatmeal cookies, I hope, because this Fixodent has not been living up to the hype promised to during “Murphy Brown” reruns,” the Senator attempted to follow up.
Zuckerberg also had to explain how Facebook makes money (“we run ads”) and had to stave off a cranky Bill Nelson (D-FL, 75 years old) who complained that Facebook was showing him ads for chocolate BUT NOT THE KIND HE LIKED MR. ZUCKERBERG HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS. As embarrassing a display this was by a group of technologically illiterate Baby Boomers, we still should applaud how far we’ve come since Ted Stevens (R-AK, 83 years old at the time of the following comment) referred to the internet as a series of tubes. I have a hunch this piss-poor line of question was some combination of ignorance and sympathy for a company responsible for $11,510,000.00 of lobbying in 2017 and at least $3,100,000.00 in the first quarter of 2018 ( Democracy is great!
During this hearing, everyone’s favorite-birthday-reminder-tool and Farmville-venue’s stock price closed up 4.5% at $165.04 for the stock’s largest rally since the Cambridge Analytica news broke; if you were curious what the markets thought of the hearing, they suddenly remembered the person largely responsible for the sophistication of the modern internet is facing off against a panel of senile poor people.  Lest we remember this hearing as a humiliating expose for the lack of knowledge by the people running almost every aspect of our lives, let’s hit some of the other pertinent items from the Senate Apple Care session:
– Zuck admitted Facebook personnel had been working with Mueller in response to claims of Russian tampering.
– We learned the value of constant monitoring and monetization of your identity is worth roughly $12 to Facebook ( Oh wait, our Senators didn’t touch on that.
– We undercovered how Facebook dredges your phone whether you give them person or not in order to find everyone you’ve ever met ( Wait, we didn’t get there either.
–  We learned Facebook uses shady and aggressive tactics to lure inactive users back, and does not delete their data even if you disconnect completely from the service ( Whoops that didn’t get addressed either. I’m starting to think this was a waste of everyone’s time!
– Facebook told us how it is bad for your mental health ( and answered for internal emails stating their growth-at-all-cost model with the direct line, “maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.” ( No? Didn’t touch that one either?
– They said they would at least be developing software capable of identifying fake news and hate speech in the next five to ten years, at which point that software will be grossly outdated. Was Zuckerberg pressed on who is the arbiter of “fake news” or “hate speech” (which, just a polite reminder, is still protected under the First Amendment as free speech).
Geez it looks like the most-punchable-face in Silicon Valley got out of this hearing scot-free. Just kidding! Look at the little baby-man sitting in his big-boy seat!

Most Obnoxious LinkedIn Profile. Ever.

So glad we have what he goes by for his middle name. First and only? Really? Game changer? Really?

There’s too much to dissect here. Think tank leader?!?


I want everyone to message and harass this Frickhead. Remind him that life didn’t turn out the way he thought it would and it’s only going downhill from here. For him and for Cleveland.

Now on a lighter note:


Now go off and harass Nicholas James.

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Fictional Women I Have Had A Crush On

As a child raised on television and pop culture, unlike dear Disillusioned Dilettante who was raised by CNBC and folk tales of Reagan in his Hollywood days, I have, at various points in time, developed romantic feelings for fictional characters. Don’t act like this is weird. Don’t act like you can’t relate. Don’t repress those memories. Embrace the fact you were in love with the figment of some dirty screenwriter’s who never existed, let alone someone who could actually disappoint you. This is getting dark. TO THE LIST! (DISILLUSIONED DILETTANTE OBLIGATORY ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT SHOUT OUT: “TO THE NUTS” – Uncle Jack)
Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood
If you thought this could start any other way, well, then my name isn’t Arch Stanton! (NOTE: my name is not Arch Stanton). Marion was an all-time badass – we first see her slugging down Nepali grog with the locals where she not only is hanging with them in a drinking contest, but winning. This has already endeared her to me as a child who had yet to drink – I know an elegant lady when I see one. This scene continues with Marion sassing Indiana Jones, which we can contextualize as “a woman telling a man to go pound sand in the 1940’s” (progressive!), and then beating some Nazi ass. This pattern continues throughout the movie – “Indy, what the fuck are you doing”, punch Nazi, “Indy don’t do that”, shoot Nazi. She didn’t need to be told twice not to look at the Ark, so she would be adequately prepared for the majesty of seeing me without my shirt on. Pluses abound!
I love a confident, intelligent and self-reliant woman, and Marion possesses all of these in spades.  Plus she is anti-Nazi, an important distinction to make early in this modern dating scene. If we’re going to get shallow (and we will obviously, you’ve read other things in this forum before), she has the most wonderful smile and freckles. The freckles absolutely killed me as a ten-year old, so much so that things I remembered about Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark after seeing first seeing it were 1.) Melted face, 2.) Marion’s freckles. Freckles will be a recurring theme for those preparing for the test at the end.
We’ll pretend Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Mutt Williams never happened. If you don’t know, consider yourself blessed.
Jessica Rabbit
Looking back, I don’t understand the reasoning behind the making of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Imagine the pitch (it’s 1988, there are mounds of cocaine everywhere, everyone is celebrating the Golden Years of America as the Era of Reagan continues under the guise of George Bush):
 – Exec 1: “How about a dark film noir about an alcoholic detective, roped back into one last gig to exonerate a man framed for murder who’s wife is cheating on him?”
– Exec 2: “YES, an edgy violent thriller!”
– Exec 1: “BUT FOR KIDS!”
– Exec 2: “…”
– Exec 2: “…”
/both do a huge line
/end scene
ANYWAY, I never understood the plot of this movie, and after reading the Wikipedia for the plot summary, I understand it less now than I previously did. But the purpose of Jessica Rabbit was very apparent – sexually confuse children with a cartoon bombshell with a bust roughly three times the size of her hips. I am unsure if my lifelong lust is a result of Jessica Rabbit, or if she was merely an early piece of this puzzle.
Unrelated to my affinity for Jessica Rabbit, but one of my favorite little things is to search “Jessica Rabbit” on Instagram after Halloween. Sends me right to my fainting couch every year.
Diane Chambers
 Diane Chambers
Diane spent most of her time on Cheers a neurotic trainwreck, toggling between being harassed by Sam Malone and emasculating him; in other words, she was the female lead in an 80’s sitcom. She’s very wispy, intelligent (or at least good at emulating an intelligent person), high-on-her-horses, elegantly snobby girl prone to long winded speeches or poetic quotations. Who doesn’t love poetry, amiright?!? She commonly leads Sam on, only to change her mind or prove to be difficult once things start to go her way, and at one point forcing Sam to propose roughly a dozen times, finding reasons to say no each time. That’s the type of emotional abuse I’m looking for in a woman!
I liked Diane a fair amount, and then my fondness grew exponentially upon seeing her half-assed replacement with Kirstie Alley’s Rebecca Howe. Give me a woman who will treat me like shit any day over a undiagnosed lunatic masquerading as a Scientologist. The point being, Diane seems like an obtainable mess of a person I would enjoy being around. This probably says a lot more about me than it does her.
Hermione Granger
The most predictable entry on this list. I like to think I was picking up what novel-Hermione was putting down as I read the first few Harry Potter books, but let’s be real – we liked Emma Watson. She was very intelligent, pro-active, and if we’re being real, the only member of the Harry-Ron-Hermione trifecta worth a shit. How would this series have been different if Hermione Granger was the title character? It would have been over in a book and a half with Hermione still maintaining a 4.0 GPA. “Oh, but Harry was so brave!” Brave is what leads people into thinking they can drive after starting St Patrick’s Day at 7 am, or trying to put hats on bears. The point I’m getting at is Hermione was a babe, and she’d be proud to be the breadwinner. She could win my bread any day, ya know what I mean? (NOTE: This is the dumbest conclusion.)
Kim Possible
Aww yeah, more animated redheads! To borrow some adjectives from Wikipedia: “assertive, confident, adventurous, and popular high school student who moonlights as a crime-fighter”, “flustered despite her own good looks, multiple talents, and heroics” and “suffer[ing] from perfectionism, and can be pushy, bossy, and very headstrong.” Middle school me was SOLD. I was not especially cool (SHOCKING REVELATION ABOUT THE GUY WRITING ABOUT CARTOON REDHEADS, I KNOW), so I think I was most into the fact Kim was cool more than a badass, still knowing deep down that she would be shitty to me if she were real. I liked that she was a high-strung perfectionist, because so was I, preferring to do all my homework on Friday afternoon instead of, ya know, going outside or playing videos. I showed all the haterz but going on to BIG things, like, uhh, writing anonymously on a blog devoted to Reagan fan fiction.
If you can’t tell, I am struggling to identify why I liked Kim Possible so much. She was a fox who beat people up. I don’t think I need to further defend my selection.
Margaery Tyrell
FINALLY to the Game of Thrones section, or, the “definitely old enough to know better” part of this essay. Margaery is graceful, resplendent, clever, witty and the center of any room she is in. I find myself wildly attracted to her personality knowing full well she would manipulate me and bend me to her will. COUNTERPOINT: looks absolutely idyllic topless. And fully clothed, for that matter. I stand by my decision.
At the risk of overloading on Game of Thrones nerdom…
That’s what I’m talking about. Another self-possessed badass who is taking no shit from anyone. And has red hair. Unlike Hermioe, who I believe I (probably) retroactively had a crush on in the books, there was no doubt when Ygritte showed up. She was down right shitty to Jon Snow, who if we’re being totally honest, deserved it, and constantly pulled his ass out of danger. She doesn’t possess the sophistication of others on this list, but makes up for it by being the biggest badass, being the only woman on a roving gang of wildlings. Because this is Game of Thrones – also looks great naked.
Takeaways: Part of me wants to paint this as an interesting tapestry reflecting on who I am, but c’mon – it’s pretty obvious. I like women who would never tolerate my shit in real life, preferable either A. sophisticated or B. a badass. So, my ideal woman would be like, Ronda Rousey in Fast and Furious 7 if we were to computer-generate my perfect woman somehow. But with red hair. Duh.

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Most Edible Star Wars Character

PETA has a notorious billboard with a bunch of farm animals and pets in a row, asking where you draw the line between dinner and a pet? Obviously the answer is after the chicken but before the horse (I’ve eaten Ikea meatballs, so I’m even flexible on the horse — an incredible creature with a walnut for a brain that gets it’s shoes hammered on to it, stupid horses), but the big point is modern culture runs a bit fast and loose on what we eat. There isn’t much debate to it here in America (apologies to all our foreign readers), but this billboard happened to cross the tumbleweed-stricken recesses of my mind while staring vacantly at a television watching Star Wars for the infinite time, and I got to thinking. So without dragging it on further, it’s time for another Cracked-like humor-ish listicle counting from the least edible to the most delicious!
Jawas – Obviously the bottom of the list. What is a Jawa? It’s all hood without any glimpse to what’s under there. Could be cow-people full of delicious steak, could be skeletons with nothing edible at all there. This is more of a DNP than a true last place finish, but they do have that rad crawler to fall back on and a technical knowledge that suits them for employment by humans. Think a plow horse with IT experience.
Watto – If you don’t recall, Watto was the terribly anti-Semitic slave owner of Annakin. If you doubt me, consider the facts: greedy, oversized nose, greasy and sneaky, self-interested, cloying accent. Tell us how you really feel, George Lucas. Anyway, he is a large bug (you could probably add that to the list), and since this isn’t Andrew Zimmerman’s “Weird Eats”, I don’t want anything to do with Watto regardless of how much barbecue sauce you slather him in.
Greedo – Looks like someone in the middle of Kafka’s “Metamorphoris”. Gross.
Rancor – The scene where Luke defeats the Rancor in the pit, and escapes to fuck shit up on Jabba’s pleasure barge, leaving the Rancor-guarding orc crying over his dead body is the most affecting scene of all the Star Wars movies. This is indisputable. The Rancor is basically a weaponized raccoon, eating trash that falls in his cage and whatever dirty alien has pissed off Jabba. Looks too lean to have any substantial meat on those bones.
Jabba the Hutt – Someone once called him “loan shark king of Space Bakersfield”, and nothing has ever been more accurate. The meat would be fatty and greasy and would stink as you tried to fry it like bacon. I imagine Jabba is like stinky pork belly, which still sounds like we’re overselling him.
Jar Jar/Gungans – Range from lean and muscular to fatty, so we have some disparity in what we could expect. Seeing as how most of the Gungan army was leaner, we’ll go with that. This meat would be like alligator if you’ve ever had that, slimy/chewy undercooked chicken. Jar Jar was an abomination in the series, and would be an abomination in your kitchen as you struggle to think of a way to prepare “human-sized moron platypus.”
Wampa – The wampa was the yeti that tried to eat Luke in the ice cave for those of you with better things to do than look up the names of irrelevant Star Wars creatures. He (I’m assuming his gender, please do not contact the ACLU on me) looks like a yeti with a drinking problem due to that paunch he’s sporting. That same stomach suggests some good cuts of meat in their somewhere under all the fur.
Taun taun – This is what Han Solo uses for a sleeping bag in a blizzard, and his remark about how he thought they smelled bad on the outside makes me think this isn’t the finest cut we’re going to see in this universe. Taun tauns are basically space horses, and I would imagine they have the same consistency as Earth horses.
Chewbacca/Wookies – Sorry Chewie. Probably too muscular to be anything but gamey, but so far we haven’t seen many better options. He should be appreciative that his mild intelligence and capable handling of a weapon effectively deters anyone from pansearing a slice of his ass. Would be good in a stew I bet.
Ewoks – Here we go, getting to the good stuff now! I imagine little forest pigs, appropriately fatty if stringy. In “Return of the Jedi”, they are attempting to eat our heroes (definitely eyeing Chewbacca almost immediately), which is entertaining because in a parallel universe far, far away, but also in the past, these portly little shits are being sheered like sheep and carved like Easter hams. I see a lot of versatility here.
Bantha – The pack animals from Tatooine, basically space buffalo or bison, which is what I am here for. A hearty animal with a variety of cuts for whatever steak you may be into. There are some high-end locations on Coruscant where all the Senators get their 16-ounce Bantha steaks well-done as they try to impress their girlfriends or prostitutes as they hide from their wives stranded on their shitty home planets. In other words, whatever the space equivalent of a cowboy hat is what you’re looking for when you want a good Bantha steak.
Porgs – You knew this was coming. A fuzzy space chicken. Incredibly versatile with a large population to match, so you know people everywhere have a secret recipe for deep-fried hot pork, but when you mention “porg”, everyone thinks of the underwhelming fast food chain with a slave holder mascot. Looking at you, Watto-with-a-twirly-mustache-and-bolo-tie.
Admiral Ackbar – Did you know Admiral Ackbar is part of a race called the “Mon Calimari”? George Lucas teed us right up on this one! My only hangup here is that he could be one of those super poisonous fish that, if cooked incorrectly, kills you within an hour. So much potential here for a delicacy, but also the very real chance he turns out like calamari you would see on the buffet on a discount cruise ship. Buyer beware, but you could be treated to the meal of a lifetime.