Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News

IN MEMORIAM

Allison Signorelli, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s events guru and dear friend of Trish Vradenburg, remembers Trish’s life and legacy in this moving blog post. According to Allison, “She was a sparkly light and her presence is already missed by the hundreds, if not thousands of lives she touched. She has taken a part of our hearts with her.”

Trish's passing has also been noted by other outlets including: Jewish Journal, among others.

USA2 SPOTLIGHT

Join our April Alzheimer's Talks on Friday, April 28, from 4-5pm (EST). Our guest is Greg O’Brien, author of “On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s.” Ever since he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2009, Greg has been sharing stories of his daily fight with Alzheimer’s and giving voice to the millions of Americans who live with it.

MUST READS

An April 26, 2017 Baltimore Sun opinion piece by Dr. Ron Louie, an Alzheimer’s caregiver and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, called for better Alzheimer’s clinical coordination. According to Dr. Louie, “Much foundational AD work still needs to be done at the bedside, in overall strategy, trial coordination, informed consents, vigorous subject recruitment and consensus development, so appointing an accountable, identifiable, directive clinical research leader seems like an important way to accelerate progress.”

An April 24, 2017 Alzheimer’s News Today article reported that the FDA-approved Alzheimer’s therapy, Namenda (memantine), when combined with Aricept, has beneficial clinical effects treating behavioral and functional symptoms in moderate to severe AD. The studies are being presented at the 2017 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting in Boston.

INDUSTRY UPDATES

An April 2017 Alzheimer's Readiness Project guest blog from Phyllis Ferrell, Lilly’s Vice President, Global Alzheimer’s Disease Platform Team, takes stock of recommendations in a recent academic paper, “Drug Development in Alzheimer’s Disease: The Path to 2025.” It states that under current conditions, only a limited number of disease-modifying therapies have a chance to be available to patients by 2025. Ferrell recommends urgently focusing on improving clinical trials (including patient registries, and virtual or observational studies). At least 50,000 volunteers are needed for more than 130 actively enrolling clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

DISPARITIES SPOTLIGHT

An April 27, 2017 The Sacramento Bee article highlighted the lack of minorities participating in U.S. clinical trials. According to federal data, participants have historically been overwhelmingly white and predominantly male. At UC Davis, several Alzheimer’s clinical trials are focused on ethnic differences and are intended to fill in gaps from previous Alzheimer’s research that were based mostly on results from “highly educated whites.”

RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

According to an April 27, 2017 Medical Xpress article, brain inflammation is a key component of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, and most other major neurodegenerative diseases. A recent study identified key molecules that drive brain inflammation, which may lead to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. "We need to better understand brain inflammation at the molecular level in order to treat neurodegenerative conditions. Our study shows how two proteins that control inflammation are crucial to a particular kind of brain inflammation,” said Jenny Ting, PhD (UNC Genetics Professor).

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