Addressing Age-Related Diseases: The Problem with the Brain
We are making great advances in surviving and managing cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. However, we are still not able to stop or even slow down Alzheimer’s disease.
To better understand Alzheimer’s disease and facilitate drug discovery, we used human stem cells to create human neurons expressing Alzheimer’s gene mutations in a 3D neural cell culture system. We provided the first ever evidence that, excess beta-amyloid deposition is sufficient to induce tangle formation and neuronal cell death, explaining the temporal pathological events of Alzheimer’s disease from plaques to tangles to neuronal cell death to inflammation.
Our new results suggest that it would be worth focusing on drug efforts aimed at lowering beta-amyloid deposition very early in life. In fact, we now have two different drugs in human clinical trials aimed at stopping amyloid formation in the brain as a means for preventing the onset of AD symptoms a decade or so later.
Lifestyle and The Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative
We have created the Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) research study, a multi-institutional collaboration examining the health benefits of traditional ayurvedic practices. Ayurveda dates back to roughly 5000 BC and focuses on a lifestyle balancing body, mind, and environment to maximize the body’s rejuvenating powers.
We are assessing the potential benefits of Ayurveda in a controlled trial design using mobile health sensors, genomics, cellular and molecular biology, metabolomics, lipidomics, microbiomics, telomerase assays, inflammatory biomarkers, Alzheimer’s biomarkers, and psychological outcomes.
The SBTI effectively marries ancient ayurvedic knowledge with state-of-the-art scientific methods to tesf for the benefits of a multi-faceted Ayurvedic approach on our physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. In essence, the SBTI is aimed at exploring and validating what we believe to be our own vast potential for health and spiritual wellbeing.
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