Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Local professor hopes GPS shoe will help ease the burden of caring for an aging society, the need for African Americans to participate in clinical trials, and new research finds that increased brain cell activity boosts brain fluid levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s (read more). 

Must reads

  • A February 25, 2014 Washington Post article reported that "A professor at George Mason University hopes a shoe with GPS tracking, developed for Alzheimer's patients can bring peace of mind to families and cut costs for local municipalities, who often carry the financial burden of searching for patients who wander off." According to the article, "So when he came across a shoe in 2007 with a Global Positioning System device embedded in the sole — an innovation aimed at parents concerned about their kids disappearing — he had an idea. Why not use the technology to develop a shoe for senior citizens? It could be a lifesaver for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia patients while easing caregivers’ fears that they’ll wander away.Carle met with Patrick Bertagna, chief executive of GTX, the Los Angeles-based maker of the shoe. “It just really touched us,” Bertagna said of his meeting with Carle. “I brought in a whole management team to shift our focus.” By late 2011, a new GPS-equipped shoe was ready for people with a variety of cognitive disorders, including traumatic brain injury and autism."
  • A February 25, 2014 News One article reported on the need for African Americans to participate in clinical trials to help reduce health disparities. According to the article, "The African-American community still faces a litany of unaddressed health disparities, including Alzheimer’s — a disease that Blacks are up to three times more likely to develop than non-Hispanic whites, according to former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher…It is possible to stop Alzheimer’s with investments in research equal to the size and scope of the disease, he argues. But funding can go only so far without a corresponding increase in patients willing to participate in innovative clinical trials. African Americans, however, are loathe to participate in clinical trials, engaging at far fewer rates than other ethnic groups, which helps to perpetuate the kinds of disparities seen with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, he says."
  • A February 25, 2014 Washington University in St. Louis article reported that "Increased brain cell activity boosts brain fluid levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease," according to new research from the university. According to the article, "Tau protein is the main component of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been linked to other neurodegenerative disorders, including frontotemporal dementia, supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration.“Healthy brain cells normally release tau into the cerebrospinal fluid and the interstitial fluid that surrounds them, but this is the first time we’ve linked that release in living animals to brain cell activity,” said senior author David M. Holtzman, MD. “Understanding this link should help advance our efforts to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders associated with the tau protein." The study appears online in The Journal of Experimental Medicine."

 

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