UsAgainstAlzheimer's Blog

Posts by greg o'brien

September 16, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

Who Pulled the Plug on Hope for an Alzheimer’s Treatment?

Hope springs eternal… But does it really today in this age of personal and professional second-guessing and gotcha? If we wait for perfection, is there hope? Wrote Alexander Pope, in the 1700s, considered among the foremost English poets in the 18th century: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never Is, but always To be blest. The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” — An Essay On Man Pope, sadly, may not have been a poet before his time, but of his time. Time understandably changes perspectives—from the pure hope of
April 21, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

Memory: “A Bit of a Dunce”

“I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers “Consultin' with the rain…. “And my head I'd be scratchin' while “my thoughts were busy hatchin' “If I only had a brain….” —Yip Harbung, lyrics, ‘If I only had a brain,’ Wizard of Oz, 1939 While we all have a brain, one not made of straw, memory itself can be deceptive. “While memory is king, it is also a bit of a dunce,” says close friend Lisa Genova, Harvard-educated neuroscientist, author of yet another New York Times Bestseller, “Remember: The Science of Remembering and The Art of Forgetting", published through
April 06, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

COVID-19 Vs. Alzheimer’s: A Rocky Prizefight!

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, life in some ways is still a cross between “Groundhog Day” and “The Shining,”and a fleck of “Alice in Wonderland” where “nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t.” While some relief has arrived in the form of COVID-19 vaccinations, seeking the so-called “herd immunity,” finding a balance between conservative and liberal narratives, continues to be a moving target. Given growing concerns about COVID-19 variants worldwide, many are now saying we need a Marshall Plan for global vaccinations. I’ve never been a fear monger, but my late mother always
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February 23, 2021 - Greg O'Brien

A Case for FDA Approval: Biogen’s Aducanumab - First-Ever Drug to Slow Progression of Alzheimer’s

Time kills deals, as the saying goes. And the biggest deal on the Alzheimer’s front—in terms of improving cognition in the early stages of the disease—is Biogen’s new drug aducanumab, currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. If approved, aducanumab would be the first-ever drug to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and first-ever drug to treat mild cognitive impairment. Early-stage Alzheimer’s has not been afforded a new approved therapy in more than 17 years. No other major disease of Alzheimer’s scale and mortality has gone that long without incremental therapeutic relief. George Vradenburg, the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s
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September 08, 2020 - Greg O'Brien

The Power of Prayer: ‘It’s All About Breathing’

The Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans on Outer Cape Cod is an inspiring place to think, write, and to talk. COVID-19 has chased all of us out of this eclectic cafe, so we now sit outside on picnic tables in the late summer sun on the lip of Cape Cod Bay. I’m sitting today over morning coffee with the Very Reverend Tracey Lind, former Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland. We’ve become good friends. I’m here to listen. Tracey is wearing a bracelet with the anacronym: P.U.S.H. I ask her about it. Tracey, persistent in her faith, says, “Pray