Part 2 – Can Failing Brain Cells Be Rescued in Alzheimer’s Disease?

Significant mitochondrial damage has been identified early in the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and often predates the accumulation of amyloid-beta, the cellular waste product historically believed to be responsible for the premature death of brain cells. A growing body of evidence now points to progressive mitochondrial failure as the trigger and driving force of amyloid-beta accumulation, eventually leading to the premature loss of brain cells.

Can Failing Brain Cells Be Rescued?

For the past several years, K-PAX Pharmaceuticals has been developing a safe and effective mitochondrial intervention which we refer to as KPAX002. 

KPAX002 consists of two co-administered components designed to broadly support mitochondrial function: 

1) Low dose methylphenidate (Ritalin)– Ritalin is a mild stimulant that is well known to increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Ritalin alone has previously been shown to produce a mild improvement in cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s patients.            

2) A high potency antioxidant formula (mitochondrial modulator) specifically designed to promote improved mitochondrial metabolism consisting of: 

N-acetyl-cysteine acts to replenish depleted glutathione reserves, thereby initiating mitochondrial recovery. Treatment with NAC has produced significantly increased survival rates in human nerve cell cultures exposed to rotenone, a potent MT toxin. 

– Acetyl-L-carnitine facilitates the transport of fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membrane shifting mitochondrial metabolism toward a more energy efficient fuel source (i.e. fatty acids).

– Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant molecule that has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in Alzheimer’s disease models.

– Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) is an electron carrier molecule embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane that stabilizes respiratory chain components and acts as a mitochondrial antioxidant. Supplementation of CoQ-10 improves mitochondrial function and age-associated cognitive decline linked to neurodegeneration. 

Supplementing a combination of the above antioxidants at therapeutic dosages can exert a significant positive effect on stabilizing mitochondrial health and function.

It is our experience that co-administering a low dosage of Ritalin, augmented by antioxidant mitochondrial support, works synergistically to improve cognitive function (alertness, concentration, etc.) in patients with mitochondrial diseases.*

Here is an example of an Alzheimer’s patient who recently took KPAX002:

“Steve is a 74 year old male who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) two years ago. Prior to beginning KPAX002, he was still functional but his driver’s license had to be taken away since he kept getting lost. He couldn’t remember his birthdate and he didn’t know the day of the week. Otherwise, he was able to carry on a relatively normal conversation.

Steve’s initial cognitive score was 12 (normal: 28-30) which puts him in the ‘moderate dementia’ range. Three months after beginning to take KPAX002 he was more alert, taking fewer naps and his cognitive score increased by 30%. Five months after beginning KPAX002 his cognitive score had increased by 50% (to 19). He has had no side effects and continues to take the treatment. 

In Alzheimer’s disease, there is currently no approved treatment to slow the progressive decline in cognitive function seen with this disease. Steve experienced a 50% improvement in less than six months.”

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