Today's Top Alzheimer's News
June 4, 2014
Sen. Pat Toomey calls for action against Alzheimer's, raising awareness of Alzheimer's through food, and new hope for an Alzheimer's vaccine (read more).
- A June 3, 2014 Times-Tribune opinion piece by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) underscored the importance of taking a stand against Alzheimer's. According to Sen. Toomey, "Hearing about Alzheimer’s harmful effects hit close to home: my father was diagnosed last year. Since then, my family and I have seen firsthand just how devastating this disease can be, not only for those suffering from it, but also for their families and caregivers…Alzheimer’s is a tragic illness that robs its victims of one of their life’s greatest possessions — their memories. Working together, I am confident we can end it."
- A June 3, 2014 Associated Press article (via ABC News) reported on the efforts of cookbook author Paula Wolfert to raise awareness of Alzheimer's through food. According to the article, "The 76-year-old Wolfert, renowned for classics like "Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco," has been diagnosed with a variant of Benson's syndrome, a rare condition related to Alzheimer's.That was the end of following the kind of complex, meticulous recipes for which she's known. But it was the beginning of looking at food in terms of healing, rather than hedonistic properties, as well as speaking frankly about the disease in hopes of encouraging others who think they might have a problem to get tested, and treated, sooner rather than later."
Research and science
- A June 4, 2014 Time article reported that "Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a search engine, called EvoCor, which finds genes that are functionally linked." According to the article, "With the database, researchers will be able to see links between different genes, helping them find better treatments for everything from Alzheimer's to cancer."
- A June 4, 2014 Fox News article reported that "In people who repeatedly fail to get a good night's sleep, the amyloid-beta concentration may build up and could be one factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease." According to the article, "Claassen and his colleagues point out in JAMA Neurology that studies on mice have found decreases in the amount of amyloid-beta in healthy animals’ brains after a good night’s sleep. That suggests sleep plays a role in cleaning out the protein overnight."
- A June 3, 2014 The Telegraph (UK) article reported that James Nicoll, a professor Southampton University, has "found that a vaccine can kick-start the immune system into action, and wipe out plaques that stop the brain from signalling," possibly preventing Alzheimer's disease. According to the article, "Prof Nicoll said he was amazed to find the injections removed the beta-amyloid clusters in people with the condition, but was dismayed to find it did not stop mental decline or early death. However he believes that vaccinating people between 40 and 50, before they show any sign of the disease, could prevent the plaques from ever forming."
Big Data Challenge
- DREAM and Sage Bionetworks Open Three Big Data Challenges to Impact Biomedical and Clinical Research [CNBC] (6/2/14)