Dementia in the News

August 1, 2018

Harvard Gazette (July 31, 2018): ‘Alzheimer’s in a Dish’ Model Provides Answers

Building on their development of the first culture system to replicate fully the pathology behind Alzheimer’s disease, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team has now produced a system that includes neuroinflammation, the key biological response that leads to the death of brain cells. The investigators describe their system, which incorporates the glial cells that that not only surround and support neurons but also provide some immune system functions, in a paper published in Nature Neuroscience.

July 30, 2018

CNN News (July 30, 2018): Borrowing from the Cancer Playbook to Find Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

It's been notoriously difficult to develop medicines for Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, it seems, pharmaceutical companies release data from studies of promising drug candidates that merit only a collective sigh of disappointment.

In search of fresh ideas, researchers have begun to borrow a phrase or two from the more familiar language of cancer treatment.

July 26, 2018

The New York Times (July 25, 2018): New Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Big Promise in Early Trial Results

An exciting update on the race to end Alzheimer's disease: in a clinical trial, a new drug reduced amyloid plaques and improved cognitive function -- the first time a drug has had both effects. Dr. Reisa Sperling of the MADRC, quoted in the The New York Times, said, "I don't know if we've hit a home run yet. It's important not to over-conclude on the data. But as a proof of concept, I feel like this is very encouraging." To read the article in its entirety, click here.

July 26, 2018

Alzheimer's Association (July 25, 2018): Study Shows Intensive Blood Pressure Control Reduces Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) & the Combined Risk of MCI and Dementia

Significant reductions in the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)*, and the combination of MCI and dementia**, have been shown for the first time through aggressive lowering of systolic blood pressure in new research results from the federally-funded SPRINT MIND Study reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018 in Chicago.

July 24, 2018

PR NewsWire (July 23, 2018): New National Strategy For Recruitment And Participation In Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials Takes Shape

Increased public and private investments in Alzheimer's disease research have brought about a proliferation of potential therapeutic targets. Drugs and other interventions to hit those targets are moving into clinical trials. Other studies are helping us better understand risks for dementia and examining best approaches to clinical and long-term care. Yet engagement and participation has not kept pace with the acceleration of research and great need for volunteers.

July 23, 2018

CNBC (July 22, 2018): Top Alzheimer’s Researchers Hope that Near-100 Dementia Drugs in Trials are Moving Closer to a Breakthrough

The search for an Alzheimer’s disease cure has been dogged by pharmaceutical failures, but a network of the world’s top dementia scientists released a report on Sunday saying that the number of drugs making it to phase two and phase three of clinical trials encourages them to believe that a blockbuster may be among compounds in the current development pipeline.

July 23, 2018

Boston Globe (July 22, 2018): Breaking Taboo, Chinese Elders Learn to Express End-of-Life Wishes

Nine wary residents gathered around a table in the basement of Boston’s Kenmore Abbey Apartments to broach a subject most people tend to avoid: death.

The residents - all Chinese-born men and women between 64 and 85 years old — sipped hot green tea. They listened poker-faced as a facilitator, Shiyun “Cici” Guan of the nonprofit Boston Senior Home Care, spoke in Cantonese about the need to designate a family member as a proxy to make health care decisions for them in the event of emergency or serious illness.

July 18, 2018

Boston Globe (July 18, 2018): As Older Population Grows, Massachusetts Angles to Become the Silicon Valley for ‘Age-Tech’

Pillo, a startup in Boston’s Fort Point district, has developed a robot that sits on your grandparents’ kitchen counter, greets them in the morning, and gently reminds them to take their pills.

Another early-stage local company called Eversound sells wireless headphones whose volume controls let seniors with varying levels of hearing loss exercise or watch movies together.

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