July 23, 2018
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.
July 16, 2018
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015, 75-year-old Brenda Whittle still enjoys jigsaws, sewing and dancing. New activities are less appealing, but participating in Alzheimer’s research and drug trials is an exception. She’s so at ease with loud brain scans, she even falls asleep during them.
June 25, 2018
Boston Globe (June 24, 2018): As Drug Development Flounders, People Fearing Alzheimer’s Embrace Lifestyle Changes
They watched helplessly as Alzheimer’s robbed their loved ones of memory and cognition. They’ve agonized over the slow progress toward a cure for a scourge that’s long defied treatment. They’re terrified the disease could someday come for them.
As one failed drug trial after the next has dashed hopes for a medical miracle, many healthy people haunted by the specter of Alzheimer’s are turning to research that suggests lifestyle changes - from fitness regimens and brain games to better diets and social interactions - might help stave off the disease or push back its onset.
June 22, 2018
Michael Clayburgh has a long family history of Alzheimer’s and his grandfather died from the disease.
Clayburgh is now on the front lines of unraveling the causes of the disease that has so devastated his family because of a condition he carries -- Down syndrome.
The 29-year-old from New Hampshire is participating in a clinical trial for a vaccine that would prevent Alzheimer's from forming in the brains of people with Down syndrome.
June 21, 2018
It has long been a controversial theory about Alzheimer’s disease, often dismissed by experts as a sketchy cul-de-sac off the beaten path from mainstream research.
June 20, 2018
A few years after Alejandra Borunda, 31, a resident of Phoenix, was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease, she began experiencing depression. On her neurologist's recommendation, she made an appointment with a therapist, who asked her some unsettling questions. After telling him she was from the city's West Side, which has a sizeable Hispanic population, he asked if her home had ever been shot at and expressed surprise that she had graduated from her high school.
June 12, 2018
Newsweek (June 5, 2018): Inside the $28 Million Alzheimer’s Village Where Patients Can Shop, Farm and Socialize Freely
A multimillion-dollar village designed as part of an experimental treatment for sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease has started construction in southwestern France.
The complex - hailed as France’s first “Alzheimer’s village” - will house 120 people and will include amenities such as shops, a gym, a restaurant and a small farm, allowing residents to walk freely and maintain a social life, despite their condition. Construction of France’s first facility of its kind began on Monday near a spa town in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and will open in 2019.
June 11, 2018
Reisa Sperling, One of the world's foremost researchers of Alzheimer’s disease, was vacationing at Lake Tahoe with her family in 2008 when she noticed her father was behaving strangely.
“Where’s your mother?” he would ask, disoriented. “What are we doing here?”
At first, Sperling thought her dad, a 74-year-old chemistry professor, might simply be tired. Perhaps the altitude had affected him. And then she had a terrible thought: He was acting just like her grandfather — his own father — who had died of Alzheimer’s in 1993.
June 8, 2018
Wash. U. School of Medicine (June 7, 2018): Genes Linked to Alzheimer’s Contribute to Damage in Different Ways
Multiple genes are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Some are linked to early-onset Alzheimer’s, a condition that develops in one’s 30s, 40s and 50s, while others are associated with the more common late-onset form of the disease.
Eventually, all Alzheimer’s patients develop dementia, and their brain cells die. But not all genes linked to the disease contribute to damage in the same way, and understanding the various ways specific genes lead to damage is important to developing potential treatments to prevent or halt Alzheimer’s.