Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Georgetown researchers explore new ways to fund biomedical research, signs of Alzheimer's in infants, and the shift in Alzheimer's research from treatment to prevention (read more). 

 

Must reads

  • A November 26, 2013 Kaiser Health News article reported on an initiative at Georgetown University called Partners in Research that connects researchers directly with donors as part of an effort to develop new models to fund biomedical research. According to the article, "For researchers, it's a competitive process just to win a spot on the presentation platform, with each proposal undergoing a peer review by other Georgetown researchers. The first year, a dozen projects were reviewed and five finalists selected. Last year, there were nine applications and four finalists. This year, 34 applications were winnowed down to a final four that went before the judges. Still, the process is easier than seeking other funds. "There's less red tape, and if you've got a new, innovative idea but no pilot data to support it, this program gives you an opportunity to start building data to support outside funding in the future," said Adam E. Green, an assistant professor of psychology whose team won one of the first year's awards, for research into Alzheimer's disease. Now his group is writing applications for outside funding. "I'm not sure how else we would have gotten to this point," he said."
  • A November 25, 2013 Live Science article reported that a new study from Brown University suggests that "People who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's disease may have differences in their brains that can be detected as early as infancy." According to the article, "Researchers scanned the brains of 162 healthy babies, including 60 who had inherited a gene called APOE-e4, which increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's after age 65. Compared to babies without the APOE-e4 gene, babies with APOE-e4 had less brain growth in several areas in the middle and back of the brain, the same regions that tend to be affected in older people with Alzheimer's. Babies with APOE-e4 also tended to have more brain growth in areas in the front part of the brain."

Research and science 

  • A November 25, 2013 Gainesville Sun (FL) article reported on the shift in Alzheimer's research from treatment to prevention. According to the article, "Those seeking to combat the debilitating disease that affects an estimated 5 million Americans recently have begun shifting their focus.“More recently we've begun to think a lot more about prevention in addition to, or sometimes instead of, treatment,” said David Borchelt of the McKnight Brain Institute and the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease.Treatment-based drug trials — the primary way that scientists test their research — have not translated into medications that could effectively combat the disease, he said."

Press Release 

 

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