Today's Top Alzheimer's News
July 8, 2014
Will the Human Brain Project be a missed opportunity? A new blood test for Alzheimer's is looming and NIH awards $24 million for cutting-edge research into Alzheimer's disease genome (read more)
- A July 8, 2014 The Guardian opinion piece by Anil Seth highlighted issues with the Human Brian Project, calling it a potential "missed opportunity." According to Seth, "Stepping back from the fuss, it is worth thinking about whether the project's aims make sense. Sequencing the genome and looking for Higgs were both major challenges, but in these cases it was clear what would constitute success. There is no similar consensus among neuroscientists…Put this way, neuroscience has enormous potential to benefit society, well deserving of high profile and large-scale support. It would be a shame if the HBP became a lightning rod for dissatisfaction with "big science" rather than creating a new and powerfully productive picture of the biological basis of the mind."
- A July 8, 2014 Reuters article (via The Chicago Tribune) reported that "British scientists have identified a set of 10 proteins in the blood that can predict the onset of Alzheimer's and call this an important step towards developing a test for the incurable brain-wasting disease." According to the article, "Such a test could initially be used to select patients for clinical trials of experimental treatments being developed to try to halt progression of Alzheimer's, the researchers said, and may one day move into routine use in doctors' clinics." Also reported on by The Guardian and others.
- A July 7, 2014 National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release announced $24 million in grant awards "to eight academic medical centers that have been at the forefront of research in Alzheimer's genetics: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; University of Miami; Columbia University, New York City; Boston University; University of Washington, Seattle; Washington University in St. Louis, and University of Texas, Houston." According to the release, "The investigators will analyze the genome sequencing data generated during the first phase of the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), an innovative collaboration that began in 2012 between the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of NIH. The first phase of the project determined the order of all 3 billion letters in the individual genomes of 580 participants. It also generated whole exome sequencing data (focused on the proteins influencing the disorder) of an additional 11,000 volunteers—6,000 with Alzheimer's compared to 5,000 controls. Funds supporting the new analysis come from fiscal 2014 additions to the NIA budget directed at intensifying Alzheimer's research."