Today's Top Alzheimer's News

New report published in Nature shows significant step forward in figuring out what causes things to go wrong in the brain early on in Alzheimer’s, a potential stem cell therapy could lead to an Alzheimer's treatement, and 90 percent of dementia cases in China go undetected (read more).  

Must Reads

  • A July 25, 2013 Wbur.org article reported that "a new report in the journal Nature shows a significant step forward in figuring out what causes things to go wrong in the brain early on in Alzheimer’s disease." According to the article, "They were looking for a “smoking gun” — a traceable molecular path between APOE4 and developing the disease — and they did identify a handful of possible smoking guns. One of the new findings in this research is that a gene called SV2A could be important in the development of Alzheimer’s. It’s already known that it’s possible to block that gene using an anti-seizure drug, so that drug could help fight Alzheimer’s." Also covered by Bloomberg. 
  • A July 25, 2013 Pharma Times article reported that "UK scientists have developed a new stem cell therapy that could, in the best case scenario, offer a "largely curative" treatment for the deadly genetic brain disease Sanfilippo, as well as a new platform for other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease." According to the article, "Aside from its promise in Sanfilippo, researchers are excited by the treatment's other potential applications, particularly in difficult to treat neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's.The gene therapy vector is designed to improve brain expression of missing genes in specific inherited neurological diseases, but also allows rapid exchange of new therapeutic genes."
  • A July 24, 2013 US News & World Report article reported on a failed Alzheimer's drug attempt from Lilly. According to the article, "The drug, called semagacestat, was designed to block an enzyme called gamma secretase that makes beta amyloid, a sticky protein that clogs the brains of patients with the memory-robbing disease.Animal studies and early human trials had suggested that the drug did what it was designed to do, but in a test of the medication in more than 1,500 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's, those taking semagacestat actually declined faster on thinking tests than those who took a dummy pill."

 International 

  • A July 24, 2013 Science Blog article reported that "over 90 percent of dementia cases in China go undetected, with a high level of undiagnosed dementia in rural areas." According to the article, "Dementia affects 10 million in China and up to 50 million worldwide, of which around 35 million sufferers are undiagnosed...The new study, led by Dr Chen, a research leader in global health in the School of Medicine at King’s, found that in China 93 percent of dementia cases in people aged 60 and over went undetected. The level of undetected dementia is much higher than has been seen in studies undertaken in high income countries, where about 60 percent of older adults with dementia are not diagnosed."

 

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