March 14, 2018
An assisted-living facility in Liverpool, England, was confronted with an unusual dilemma in 2013: An elderly resident with severe dementia suddenly became terrified of water and showering — and categorically refused to bathe.
March 12, 2018
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
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
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
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
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.
January 12, 2018
Harvard Gazette (January 11, 2018): Harvard Researchers to Help Develop Cloud-Based NIH Data Commons Platform
The National Institute of Health has announced that Harvard co-Principal Investigators Dr. Mercè Crosas and Dr. Timothy Clark are NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Awardees.
December 13, 2017
CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. ANN MCKEE -- OUR FORMER NEUROPATHOLOGY FELLOW!
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.