Dementia in the News

April 2, 2018

AlzForum (March 28, 2018): 44-Year Study Ties Midlife Fitness to Lower Dementia Risk

New observational data add one more reason to strive for a healthy middle age. Researchers led by Helena Hörder, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, report that women who scored high on a fitness test in midlife were nearly 90 percent less likely than their moderately fit or unfit peers to develop dementia decades later. Also, the fittest women held dementia at bay 10 years longer. The study, now available online, appears in the April 10 Neurology.

February 28, 2018

Nature.com (February 28, 2018): How Flashing Lights and Pink Noise Might Banish Alzheimer’s, Improve Memory and More

In March 2015, Li-Huei Tsai set up a tiny disco for some of the mice in her laboratory. For an hour each day, she placed them in a box lit only by a flickering strobe. The mice - which had been engineered to produce plaques of the peptide amyloid-β in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease - crawled about curiously. When Tsai later dissected them, those that had been to the mini dance parties had significantly lower levels of plaque than mice that had spent the same time in the dark1.

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.

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