Today's Top Alzheimer's News

Genetech Alzheimer's drug shows some promise in the least-impaired participants, a Frenso State Alzheimer's researcher shares his personal Alzheimer's connection, and the growing need for brain samples (read more). 

Must reads

  • A July 16, 2014 Associated Press article (via The State Journal) reported that "An experimental drug from the biotech company Genentech failed to slow mental decline in mid-stage studies on more than 500 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, but showed some promise in the least-impaired participants who received a higher dose." Also reported on by The Wall Street Journal
  • A July 16, 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek article reported that researchers have found "An abnormal form of the novel protein dubbed TDP-43 was tied to smaller brain volume and almost guaranteed that people with it would suffer memory loss."
  • A July 16, 2014 AC Immune press release highlighted results "from two phase II studies investigating whether crenezumab (anti beta-amyloid antibody) can delay cognitive and functional decline in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) by its partner Genentech." The release included a quote from George Vradenburg stating, "These are encouraging results and an important step forward in the effort to find a treatment for this deadly disease…Drug development is hard and has proven particularly elusive for Alzheimer's. The data shared today represent an important commitment by leading scientists to tackle the toughest research questions and the world's biggest unmet medical need."

Research, science, and technology

  • A July 16, 2014 Fresno Bee article profiled Fresno State professor Monika Maitra's efforts to find breakthroughs with Alzheimer's research. According to the article, "At first, family members dismissed her disoriented behavior. Maitra was just launching his research career, barely aware of the neurological tailspin that gradually took his mother's life. It was only coincidence that his studies would lead him to a career in neurodegenerative disease.Now, the medicinal chemistry researcher has a newly minted patent he hopes will someday help save patients like his mom. The synthetic compound Maitra has developed is new, according to officials from the Alzheimer's Association, a national nonprofit focused on research and patient care. The goal is to suppress a certain protein with known links to memory loss."
  • A July 16, 2014 Bloomberg article reported on the need for brain samples to tackle the rise in neurological disorders and issues. According to the article, "As dementia diagnoses rise, more athletes get concussions and more soldiers return from war with trauma, the drive to find treatments has taken on new urgency. Researchers’ demand for tissue is increasing, and brain banks are working to spur donations. While it’s easier to persuade donors who live with neurological ailments and want to help find cures, their brains must be compared in studies with healthy ones -- and banks need more of both."
  • A July 13, 2014 Wall Street Journal article reported on the connection between the senses and detecting Alzheimer's. According to the article, "Scientists have found that certain biological changes in the retina and lens of the eye, and in the sense of smell, may help predict whether people with no or minor memory issues may go on to develop the progressive brain disease, according to findings presented here Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference. Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed primarily by clinical examination using memory tests and questions about how a patient is functioning. But researchers are attempting to devise tools, particularly using biological markers, to improve the detection of early stages of the disease, said David Knopman, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and a member of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council."

 

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