Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
According to a June 28, 2017 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s blog post by Shawn Taylor, June is PTSD Awareness Month. Military veterans may be at an increased risk for dementia as a consequence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and blast injuries suffered in service. Alzheimer’s runs in Taylor’s family - both her grandparents and parents. Taylor is a Founding Board Member of UsA2, and heads the VeteransAgainstAlzheimer’s Network.
A June 30, 2017 Forbes article highlighted new research published in the journal PLoS Biology on the cyclophilin 40 (CyP40) enzyme, which normally serves as a directional guide for proteins as they bend and fold. In an Alzheimer’s brain, the enzyme becomes part of the problem as proteins abnormally fold in on themselves, destroying neuron structure and connectivity and resulting in amyloid build-up. The hope is that it could help prevent the abnormal folding or unravel amyloid build-up.
A June 29, 2017 CBS News article spotlighted Olympic gymnast and gold medalist, Laurie Hernandez, whose grandmother died with Alzheimer’s disease late last year. Hernandez was extremely close to her grandmother and away from home competing on “Dancing with the Stars” when she passed. Hernandez advises to “spend a lot of time with them and take in every moment because you never know when something can happen and so you don't want to have any regrets at the end.”
A June 29, 2017 AlzForum article reported that the A4 (Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease trial) will continue, quadrupling the dose of solanezumab and lengthening by 72 weeks. Its fate was in question after the Phase 3 trial was ended late last year after failing to meet its primary endpoint. The A4 is currently enrolling cognitively normal people with amyloid accumulation. “We believe that by increasing the dose and extending the study, we will be able to provide more definitive answers,” said study director, Reisa Sperling, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.
A June 23, 2017 AlzForum article focused on a report outlining “possible steps but stops short of issuing concrete recommendations” on preventative measures to ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The report is from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and highlights three areas where “evidence is encouraging but inconclusive.” These areas include cognitive training, blood pressure control in midlife and exercise. Recommendations were made for how researchers can build a stronger case for prevention, including: more and better-quality randomized controlled trials, comparing different types of cognitive training, blood pressure therapy and exercise to see which are most effective, and studies including more diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
A June 30, 2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch opinion piece by Richard M. Rubin, featured the work that Sen. Roy Blunt has done in support of increased federal funding for Alzheimer’s disease research. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee, Blunt was instrumental in obtaining increased dollars in both 2016 and 2017. Rubin hopes Blunt will reject the current Senate health care bill, which will hit Medicaid hard.