Dementia in the News

September 12, 2017

Boston Globe (September 11, 2017): A Family with an Astonishing Rate of Alzheimer’s Disease May Harbor a Powerful New Gene

Louise Lowman Lee remembers stories about her great-grandmother being put in a fenced area in the backyard, so she could wander safely. She watched her mother patiently care for her grandmother, who lost her reason, inhibitions, and ability to care for herself. Then Alzheimer’s disease gradually eroded the brain of her devoted mother, too.

But when Lee and two of her sisters brought their mother, Mildred Chastain Lowman, to Emory University in Atlanta in 2006, they weren’t thinking about the family tree. They were just looking for the best possible treatment.

August 17, 2017

Harvard Gazette (August 17, 2017): Brain May Be Far More Flexible Than Thought

The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory. Cells that form these links have been deemed highly stable and fixed.

Now, the findings of a Harvard Medical School (HMS) study conducted in mice challenge that model, revealing that the neurons responsible for such tasks may be less stable, yet more flexible than previously believed.

August 17, 2017

Japan Times (August 16, 2017): Japanese researchers Tap AI to Parse Regional Dialects, Work Toward Early Dementia Diagnosis

People in Aomori Prefecture, especially in the western Tsugaru area, are known for their strong dialect, often leading outsiders to joke about needing a translator.

But for health care professionals, the issue is no laughing matter. Misunderstanding patients could lead to incorrect medical decisions, and the longer it takes for doctors and nurses unfamiliar with the dialect to deal with patients, the longer the wait will be for others.

August 14, 2017

AlzForum (August 11, 2017): Lancet Commission Claims a Third of Dementia Cases Are Preventable

Spurred by the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit in London and by the First WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in March 2015, The Lancet commissioned an expert project to review available evidence and recommend how best to manage and prevent dementia. The group’s report, “Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care,” was released to coincide with a symposium on the topic at this year’s Alzheimer’ Association International Conference, held in London July 16-20.

August 9, 2017 (August 1, 2017): Early-Onset Alzheimer's Doesn't Thwart These Advocates

Lonni Schicker stopped in her tracks. She had just left the library on the Minnesota college campus where she taught health administration and was headed back to her office. But she couldn’t remember where it was.

“My office was in the next building, but I walked almost the entire campus and I finally called my son,” she says. He told her which building it was in; she followed signs to get there.

August 8, 2017

MIT News (August 8, 2017): Blocking a Key Enzyme May Reverse Memory Loss

In the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, many of the genes required to form new memories are shut down by a genetic blockade, contributing to the cognitive decline seen in those patients.

MIT researchers have now shown that they can reverse that memory loss in mice by interfering with the enzyme that forms the blockade. The enzyme, known as HDAC2, turns genes off by condensing them so tightly that they can’t be expressed.

July 28, 2017

El Planeta (July 27, 2017): Última oportunidad para que los latinos hagan una diferencia en la prevención de Alzheimer

Científicos del Centro para la Investigación y Tratamiento del Alzheimer (CART, por sus siglas en ingles) de los hospitales Brigham and Women’s (BWH) y el Massachusetts General (MGH), hacen un último llamado a la comunidad latina para que haga parte en la prevención del Alzheimer.

July 27, 2017

Los Angeles Times (July 27, 2017): Is it Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia Form? Why Doctors Need to Distinguish and How They Might Do So

Alzheimer’s disease now affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans, and after decades of feverish work, researchers have so far failed to find a treatment that halts or reverses the inexorable loss of memory, function and thinking ability that characterize this feared illness.


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