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April 25, 2013 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-04-25

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frontlines >> letters

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Kwame Betrayed Support
From Jewish Community
Contributing Editor Robert Sklar
wrote an excellent article about for-
mer Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpratrick
("Beyond Kwame," April 11, page 1).
I am black and Jewish and was
able to exit Detroit 30 years ago but
watched Kwame's rise to power. His
plans for the city were upbeat and
Kwame spoke at some synagogues
and many Jewish events as he reached
out to the Jewish community with his
explosive visions. The Jewish com-
munity was willing to help him accom-
plish his goals. He envisioned turning
blight into beauty.
The city received the opposite of
Kwame's promises. Corruption ran
rampant. Sex and text became house-
hold names. Kwame blamed the Jews
for his own moral malfunctions and
reached out to Nation of Islam leader
Louis Farrakhan during his reelection
run for mayor in 2005.
I was appalled, especially after the
Jewish Community Relations Council
had sponsored a trip to Israel for
Kwame in 1999 before his first mayoral
election in 2001.
Kwame is responsible for his own
corruption and lack of morals, not the
Jews. If Kwame ever gets out of jail, I
hope the Jewish community doesn't
extend a hand ever again to him; one
stab in the back is enough.
I hope Detroit gets a good mayor in
the next election. As a black person
I understand the thinking of black
Detroiters, but it is time to get past skin
color and elect the best person to restore
the city to its previous glory. The Jewish
community is willing to help the city no
matter what color the mayor is.

Camille F. McMillan
West Bloomfield

Israeli Alzheimer's Drug
Could Have Potential
I read with interest the several articles
on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in the
April 18 Jewish News beginning on
page 1. Three areas of research based
on work from Israel were cited. I
thought it important to mention a
fourth area of promising work.
Dr. Illana Gozes began working
with a substance found in increased
amounts in patients with trau-
matic brain injury a number of years
ago when she was a fellow at the
Weizmann Institute of Science. This
substance, a neuropeptide, is termed

Activity Dependent Neuroprotective
Protein (ADNP).
Dr. Gozes is now professor of clini-
cal biochemistry at Tel Aviv University.
She has patented a short chain peptide
called Davunetide that seems to per-
form the same functions as ADNP. This
peptide is administered intra-nasally, is
absorbed into the circulation and does
cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) to
access the neurons that are critical for
maintenance of cognitive and motor
The mechanism of action for Dr.
Gozes' peptide involves maintenance
and repair of the microtubules of the
neuron. The integrity of the microtu-
bules is vital to maintaining the normal
functions of neurons. Disintegration of
the microtubules leads to cell death.
Apparently, the disintegration is
usually secondary to the developing
dysfunction of the tau proteins that
keep the microtubules intact. With
AD, there is evidence that increased
absorption of phosphorus (AKA hyper-
phosphorylation) by the tau protein
results in its dysfunction. Davunetide
has been shown to decrease hyper-
In a Phase II clinical trial conducted
with patients suffering from mild
cognitive impairment (a precursor to
AD), patients treated with Davunetide
showed higher performance on cogni-
tive tests when compared to controls.
A Phase III clinical trial for AD would
have been conducted; but the cost, as
I understand it, would have been pro-
Instead, a Phase III trial (last step
before FDA drug approval) was con-
ducted for a related dementia known
as progressive supranuclear palsy
(PSP). PSP, however, is one of the most
rapidly progressive dementias. There
are few early signs. The PSP trial failed,
possibly due to the rapidity of the dis-
ease and the need for higher doses and
perhaps more frequent administration
of the drug.
Due to the PSP failure, the future
of Davunetide is presently uncertain.
There is a need to study Davunetide
with regard to level of dose, frequency
of administration and even route of
administration. Finances to support
this work and to subsequently proceed
to a Phase III study for AD are pres-
ently lacking. Hopefully, resources will
be developed in the future to support
this promising area of research.

Gerald H Katzman, M.D., FAAP, CPE
Farmington Hills


The Detroit
Symphony Orchestra
(DSO) announced the
recruitment of Linda
Lutz of Birmingham
as chief financial offi-
cer. Her responsibili-
ties include directing
all aspects of financial
reporting, financing
and cash management, accounting,
payroll, and financial planning for all
DSO entities. She will also direct risk
management, information technology,
and act as liaison with external auditors,
legal counsel and third parties on con-
tract management.

• In "Woman's
World Coming May 1"
(page 6, April 18), a
photo of Jessica Yellin,
CNN White House
correspondent, was

Jessica Yellin

• In "Honoring The Fallen" (page
14, April 18), the story should have
said students from Akiva Hebrew Day
School and Frankel Jewish Academy
read names of fallen Israeli soldiers at
the event. Choirs from Hillel Day School
and FJA performed.

JFS' Joy Project
This Mother's Day, honor the
women in your life and bring the
spirit of celebration to the deserv-
ing mothers that Jewish Family
Service helps.
Make your tribute donation cel-
ebrating a mother, daughter, sister,
aunt or friend in your life.
For each donation to the Joy
Project, JFS will send a tribute
card to each of the special women
in your life, deliver a beautiful
Mother's Day gift to a woman in
need and support additional pro-
gramming provided to women and
children in crisis
To make a donation, go to http://
bit.ly/ZrNJ7P or call (248) 592-

Ask Attorney
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April 25 • 2013


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