Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Accueil Plan du site Courrier Portail Québec Passer directement au contenu

Ask the expert

Are there risks associated with taking statins for periods of 10 to 20 years?

Apparently not. They are used to prevent the appearance and re-appearance of stroke. There are people who have been on Zocor for 10 and 12 years. If there isn't any problem when the drug is first taken, there usually isn't a problem later on.
-Judes Poirier, Ph.D., Mini-Psych School 2006


Is there a possible passive vaccine for Alzheimer's?

Several years ago, scientists tried to provoke an immune response to force the bloodstream to react to the infamous amaloide plaque. They injected the molecule that causes the plaque, hoping the body would react by making antibodies to destroy it. Several researchers were against this concept, but the pharmaceutical company went forward with the experiment. Three people died and twenty-five ended up with massive encephalitis—major inflammation of the brain—and went into a coma. The experiment, which had essentially told the body to attack something it normally produces, was halted by the FTA.

Passive immunization involves injecting an antibody to deal with amyloid without triggering other effects, like swelling of the brain. A study using this strategy finished in 2008, but the findings were inconclusive. Brain imaging revealed with certainty that the number of amyloid plaque deposits in the brains of Alzheimer's patients had been greatly reduced; however, no  improvement in memory or learning was detected. A number of scientists are questioning this medication approach in light of the few benefits that this technique has generated in the past years.
-Judes Poirier, Ph.D., 2010

Can memory enhancers work for non-Alzheimer's people?

Most of these drugs have some side effects such as nausea and vomiting. They are manageable, and are sometimes pretty easy to control in Alzheimer's' patients, who have a deficit in the neurotransmitter stimulated by these drugs. However, people without Alzheimer's don't have this deficit, so when they take these drugs, they may have a little bit more memory, but they'll suffer the side effect of vomiting…a lot. Basically, it's not a wise idea to use memory enhancers in this way.
-Judes Poirier, Ph.D., Mini-Psych School 2006

Related Douglas links :
Find out more :