Today's Top Alzheimer's News
January 2, 2014
The US's share of biomedical research spending fell sharply in 2012, the impact of big data analysis on Alzheimer's drug R&D, and the latest research on the link between brain size and cognitive development (read more).
- A January 1, 2014 Science Daily article reported that "The United States’ global share of biomedical research spending fell from 51 percent in 2007 to 45 percent in 2012, while Japan and China saw dramatic increases in research spending." According to the article, "Despite reductions in funding from the National Institutes of Health, including a 20 percent drop in purchasing power since 2003, the researchers discovered that the United States’ decline was driven almost entirely by reduced investment from industry, not the public sector. This includes support for clinical trials testing potential new therapies."
- A January 1, 2014 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News article reported on the impact of big data analysis on pharmaceutical research and development. According to the article, "Pharmaceuticals for Alzheimer’s disease, which he explored while working at Johnson and Johnson, represent a realm where all dimensions of big data came to life in trying to characterize which patients with mild cognitive impairment could ultimately develop full-blown dementia. The data may come from multiple modalities, such as MRI scans for hippocampal shrinkage, PET scans for amyloid-beta load, genetic markers (APOE or clusterin), and neuroinflammatory markers in the blood."
- A December 26, 2013 New York Times article reported on new research on the link between brain size and cognitive development. According to the article, "In our smaller-brained ancestors, the researchers argue, neurons were tightly tethered in a relatively simple pattern of connections. When our ancestors’ brains expanded, those tethers ripped apart, enabling our neurons to form new circuits…The emergence of the human mind might not have been a result of a vast number of mutations that altered the fine structure of the brain. Instead, a simple increase in the growth of neurons could have untethered them from their evolutionary anchors, creating the opportunity for the human mind to emerge."