Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
According to a July 10, 2017 The Washington Post article, scientists have reversed memory and learning deficits in mice following traumatic brain injuries with a new experimental drug, ISRIB, which could lead to treatments for cognitive diseases. The research “provides hope, not only for us but for our patients, that we will have something that could be used to treat them,” said Geoffrey Manley, Chief of Neurosurgery at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. According to Regis Kelly, Director of QB3, a think tank connecting Bay Area researchers in the University of California system with industry partners, whose wife has early-onset Alzheimer’s, “This work Peter and Susanna do gives great hope to Alzheimer’s caretakers like me.”
A July 10, 2017 AMA Wire article spotlighted AMA Journal of Ethics’ July edition, focused on strategies for humanizing and supporting people with dementia. Evidence suggests that many dementia patients can articulate their values, preferences and desires, therefore, clinicians have the obligation to ensure that they can maintain active, central roles in decision making about their own care and wellbeing.
CLINICAL TRIALS SPOTLIGHT
A July 11, 2017 We Are Central PA.com video segment and article focused on the story of Marty Reiswig, who is participating in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU), studying familial early onset Alzheimer’s. People who inherit the defective gene almost always develop Alzheimer's at a young age. According to Marty, father of two, “My hope for this study is that it gives us an opportunity to live and enjoy life just five or ten more years.” Click here to see if you qualify for the study.
RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
According to a July 11, 2017 AlzForum article, 2 million people have ordered the 23andMe DNA testing kit since 2007, which now includes health reports estimating risk for Alzheimer’s disease, based solely on carriage of the ApoE4 allele. It reveals genotype for 75 of the dominantly inherited mutations known to cause AD, which may motivate people to join a prevention trial or adopt a healthier lifestyle. There is debate about this type of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, including scientific, ethical and social issues to be addressed. “Clearly this is happening. Human genetics is moving very quickly. It’s easy to obtain the data, but understanding how to deal with it has always been a challenge,” said Carlos Cruchaga of Washington University in St. Louis.
In a July 7, 2017 Careliving blog, Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend, Glen Campbell, writes about her evolving role as Glen progressed into Alzheimer’s disease. She went from wife to his mother, nurse, conservator, leader of their family and protector.
A July 11, 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog post spotlighted William Glass, who is walking from Atlanta to Washington, DC to give the President a petition addressing concerns of families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. In 2013, Glass walked from Chicago to Atlanta to raise AD awareness. He lives in Atlanta, caring for his mom who has Alzheimer’s and resides in a local facility. When he feels like giving up, he thinks about the challenges facing caregivers and patients who cannot give up. According to Glass, “Caregivers are the unsung heroes of this disease. That is also who I am walking for. They are getting paid just above minimum wage. They are overworked, underpaid and don’t have the most up to date tools to do their jobs correctly.”
A July 9, 2017 HeraldNet opinion letter by Barbara Hatt voiced her support for the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, currently under consideration in the Senate. It would create a national strategy to address caregiver issues, including education and training, long-term services and supports and financial stability and security. Across Washington state there are more than 335,000 people providing unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.