Dementia in the News

February 20, 2018

AlzForum (February 14, 2018): In Familial Alzheimer’s, Tau Creeps into Cortex as Symptoms Show

Researchers led by Yakeel Quiroz at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have used PET imaging to measure both Aβ and tau deposition in members of a large Colombian kindred affected by an autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s disease mutation. On average, family members who inherit the mutation develop symptoms by the age of 44.

February 16, 2018

Science Magazine (February 15, 2018): FDA Floats New Rules for Testing Alzheimer's Drugs

For years now the gold standard for R&D in Alzheimer’s disease has focused on generating convincing evidence that any new therapy being studied could slow the cognitive decline of patients and help preserve their ability to perform the kind of daily functions that can keep a patient independent for a longer period of time.

February 15, 2018

Time (February 26, 2018): Inside One Couple’s Experimental Treatment to Battle Alzheimer’s Disease

JoAnn Wooding is staring intently at the clear liquid dripping from a dark brown IV bag into her husband Peter’s arm. “Please be the drug, please be the drug,” she says. Married for more than 50 years, the Woodings are among the more than 5 million Americans who are facing Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most devastating diagnoses today.

February 9, 2018

Harvard Medical School (February 8, 2018): Nature, Meet Nurture

Is it nature or nurture that ultimately shapes a human? Are actions and behaviors a result of genes or environment?

Variations of these questions have been explored by countless philosophers and scientists across millennia.

Yet, as biologists continue to better understand the mechanisms that underlie brain function, it is increasingly apparent that this long-debated dichotomy may be no dichotomy at all.

January 12, 2018

Boston Globe (January 2, 2018): Dementia Patients Often Need Hospitals, Which are Often Ill-Prepared

Steve Johanson had a fierce and knowledgeable advocate at his side when he visited a hospital recently: his wife, Judy. In the six years since Steve had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, she had immersed herself in understanding the illness and preparing for its consequences.

But even so, the hospital stay to adjust Steve’s Alzheimer’s medication was a nightmare. In the emergency room, nurses briskly took his vital signs, oblivious to his confusion. When he became upset, the staff didn’t seem to understand why.

December 13, 2017

Boston Globe (December 13, 2017): Bostonian of the Year 2017: The Concussion Researcher


AT A SHOE DEALER CONVENTION in Boston in 1920, Dr. Jacob Lowe showed off an invention he called the Foot-O-Scope. His fluoroscope used an X-ray tube to produce a fluorescent image of the bones in a foot as well as the shoe around it, ensuring a perfect fit. It was a modification of a device the Boston physician created during World War I to examine the injured feet of servicemen without removing their boots.

December 11, 2017

EurekAlert (December 11, 2017): Up to $70 Million to be Awarded to Advance Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to award up to $70 million over five years to three physician-scientists to launch the Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Consortium (ACTC), which will create a network of 35 Alzheimer's disease trial sites across the country with the goal of finding new ways to treat or prevent Alzheimer's.

December 8, 2017

MGH NeuroBlast (December 4, 2017): Massachusetts General Hospital's NPH Program Offers Comprehensive Evaluation & Treatment of Brain Disorder

At 79, Tamar wasn’t ready to slow down: She walked three miles a day, was a whiz at Sudoku puzzles, and loved hiking with her husband. But within just a year, she had sharply declined. The once-vibrant septuagenarian could no longer get out of a chair unassisted, didn’t understand how to use a telephone, and had become incontinent. “She was a shell of her former self,” remembers her daughter Iris. “Her physician told us that she had atypical Alzheimer’s disease and that nothing could be done for her.”

November 28, 2017

MGH Research Institute (November 28, 2017): Gatchel Untangles the Causes of Mood & Anxiety Symptoms & Loss of Brain Function in Aging Populations

Often referred to as the golden years, life after retirement can sometimes turn out to be less than sunny.

Dramatic lifestyle changes such as admittance to an assisted care facility and loss of mobility or independence can take a toll on mental health.

In fact, twenty percent of people over 55 suffer from a mental disorder, and two-thirds of nursing home residents exhibit mental and behavioral problems.


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