Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The latest on technology shedding light on how the brain works, EnVivo Pharmaceuticals launches late-stage trials of promising Alzheimer's drug, and a recap of the week's top news (read more). 

 

 

Must reads

  • A February 2014 National Geographic Magazine article highlighted the latest technologies that "are shedding light on biology’s greatest unsolved mystery: how the brain really works." According to the article, "As they see the brain in action, neuroscientists can also see its flaws. They are starting to identify differences in the structure of ordinary brains and brains of people with disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. As they map the brain in greater detail, they may learn how to diagnose disorders by their effect on anatomy, and perhaps even understand how those disorders arise…When it comes to the brain, predicting the future is a tricky game. Advances in the past have inspired giddy expectations that in many cases have not been met. “We can’t tell a schizophrenic brain from an autistic brain from a normal brain,” says Christof Koch. But the research that’s going on now, he believes, is moving neuroscience to a remarkable new stage. “I think we can begin to put the pieces together.”"
  • A January 23, 2014 The Florida Current article reported that "House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Matt Hudson, R-Naples, filed a proposal Thursday that would create a new Alzheimer's disease research program,  set regulations for the care for Alzheimer's patients and remove a requirement for an administrative judge to preside over certain hearings involving the Department of Health."

Research and science 

  • A January 23, 2014 Forbes article reported that "Quanterix Corporation, a leader in high definition diagnostics, delivering ultrasensitive single molecule measurement for the benefit of human health, has been selected as a winner of the GE and NFL Head Health Challenge." According to the article, "What’s interesting about the Quanterix technology is the amazing sensitivity and ability to measure compounds–as small as molecules– in the blood that offer an early and and accurate assessment of injury."
  • A January 23, 2014 CBS Boston article reported that EnVivo Pharmaceuticals will begin new tests on a "promising treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease." According to CEO Dr. Deborah Dunsire, “We’re looking at focusing it on the memory loss aspect of Alzheimer’s Disease, and facilitating people’s ability to access their memories and be able to live more normally for a longer period of time."

This week's top highlights (in case you missed it)

  • A January 21, 2014 The Hill opinion piece by Andrew von Eschenbach and Paul Howard called for increased research and development collaboration to treat diseases like Alzheimer's. According to the authors, "Innovation is not optional.  It is a national imperative. To generate the innovation we need at a cost we can afford we need to re-tool our entire ecosystem for medical innovation to deliver new treatments and cures to patients faster and less expensively than ever before.  This will require unprecedented cooperation and collaboration between industry, academia, and regulators – and recognition by the federal government that a vibrant life-sciences industry will generate higher national productivity, lower total health care costs, and technological “spillovers” that will benefit almost every other industrial sector, from agriculture to defense." Von Eschenbach is a former Fodd and Drug Administration commissioner. Howard is with the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress.
  • A January 21, 2014 Huffington Post piece by USA2 Chairman George Vradenburg highlighted the possibility of Google Glass as an Alzheimer's aid. According to Vradenburg, "Indeed, Google Glass has many of the capabilities needed to become a "memory support system." That is, Glass could use its amazing technology to help early Alzheimer's victims who "wanders" by providing them with cues, prompts, and reminders of where they wanted to go and of how to get there. Using Google GPS, Glass could provide specific walking directions to the grocery store. It could become a prosthetic "memory support system" bringing a new sense of independence to the cognitively impaired, encouraging them to venture out into the world."

 

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