Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


A July 5, 2017 STAT article highlighted the top 10 scientists who got the biggest federal research grants this year. According to the article, “You’ll note that many of the top projects involve Alzheimer’s disease. That’s no coincidence: Congress boosted the NIH’s budget by $2 billion this year (bucking President Trump, who wanted to cut the budget). Of that extra funding, $400 million was earmarked for research on this form of dementia.”

A July 3, 2017 Next Avenue article looked at the intersection of dementia and depression, which share many overlapping symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, it’s common for people with dementia to experience depression, anxiety and paranoia. People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to experience depression less severely than those without it. People with AD and depression may have irritability and social withdrawal, but may not show other symptoms typically associated with depression.


A Being Patient interview asked Harvard’s Dr. Rudolph Tanzi how close scientists are to finding an Alzheimer’s cure. According to Tanzi, “It’s tough to say what a cure is.” He looks for answers in his ‘Alzheimer’s in a dish,’ where scientists successfully grew human brain cells in a petri dish, and Alzheimer’s Genome Project research, which showed the first gene that controls inflammation (CD33).


A July 4, 2017 Click2Houston article reported on a new study, the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), looking at therapies that may slow Alzheimer’s disease progression in people with familial early onset AD, in their 30’s through 50’s. The trials are using drugs that attack different forms of the amyloid protein. Click here to see if you qualify for the trial

A June 30, 2017 Medical Xpress article spotlighted new research from the University of Zurich showing the effect of dysfunctional microglia on the brain. If the microglia lack TDP-43 protein, they remove both Alzheimer's plaques and synapses (contact points of the neurons), which presumably leads to neurodegeneration. According to Lawrence Rajendran, “Dysfunction of the microglia cells may be an important reason why many Alzheimer's medications reduce the amyloid plaques in clinical testing, but the cognitive functions in patients do not lead to improvement.”


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