Today's Top Alzheimer's News

A new era in Alzheimer's research, the link between dementia and exercise, and Selim Zilkha pledges $5 million to USC's Keck School of Medicine to fund a new endowed chair in Alzheimer's disease research (read more).       

 

 

Must reads

  • A December 3, 2013 Huffington Post piece by Dr. Pierre Tariot, director of the Banner Alzheimer's Institute, focused on Alzheimer's prevention as the "new era" in Alzheimer's research. According to Dr. Tariot, "The numbers alone make current research into Alzheimer's all the more urgent. In fact, many researchers believe we are at a critical juncture. Sophisticated imaging studies are showing with increasing clarity that changes in the brain happen far earlier than we thought, years and even decades before memory and thinking problems begin. This "silent" period may be the key time in which to act, through drugs or other therapies to slow or stop the damage to the brain, if not prevent the disease altogether. And that is the core strategy in the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative (API), an international collaboration of scientists who are starting clinical trials in cognitively healthy individuals whose genetic history puts them at highest risk. These trials will test interventions at the earliest pre-symptomatic stage of the disease. But they are just the beginning."
  • A December 3, 2013 The Guardian article reported that new research from the University of Alberta in Canada has found that "Physical activity may improve memory, attention and general cognitive function among the growing number of people with dementia." According to the study's authors, "There is promising evidence that exercise programmes can have a significant impact in improving ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and possibly in improving cognition in people with dementia."
  • A December 3, 2013 New York Times article reported on the shooting of a wandering Alzheimer's sufferer in Georgia and how the case relates to Stand Your Ground laws. According to the article, "On a cold and damp day Tuesday, Mrs. Westbrook buried her husband of 51 years, his death adding another chapter to the debate over the nation’s patchwork of self-defense laws. “I understand the man who shot him is real upset, and I think he should be,” Mrs. Westbrook said in an interview. “He shot an innocent man. He should have stayed in the house like a normal person would.” Investigators and a district attorney are weighing whether to charge Mr. Hendrix, a decision that exposes the challenge of balancing the right to use deadly force to defend oneself with the imperfect reality of snap decisions." 

Funding 

  • A December 4, 2013 News Medical article reported that Selim Zilkha, "a member of the Keck School of Medicine of USC Board of Overseers, has pledged a gift of $5 million to the school to fund a new endowed chair in Alzheimer's disease research. This latest gift brings Zilkha's total giving to neuroscience research at the Keck School to more than $30 million."

 

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