Today's Top Alzheimer's News
A July 25, 2019 Psychology Today blog post by journalist, author and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s advocate Greg O’Brien explored finding grace and unexpected blessings in having Alzheimer’s disease. According to O’Brien, who has early-onset AD, “My journey, as with the voyage of others, is not just about Alzheimer’s and a cure; it’s about reaching for faith in this disease when medicine, at the moment, cannot fix it. It’s about the spiritual side of life, looking into the mirror, confronting my imperfections, my demons, and knowing that I am forgiven. It’s about healing in every sense of the word, about walking toward eternity with dignity. The Lord, I believe, often picks the best sinners to help lead the way. No surprise that it’s become my assignment.”
A July 25, 2019 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s blog post by Andres Martin, who carries the “Jalisco mutation,” called for five things relating to Alzheimer’s disease: full participation in clinical trials, additional research funding, national paid family leave, mobilizing young people and a cure for future generations, including his daughter Alexis. “Alexis has not yet been tested for the Jalisco mutation, but I know I need to do everything I can now to make sure she is prepared and that more young people have a voice in the movement to address this chronic disease. I’m adamant about approaching my Alzheimer’s journey with a positive outlook – I think I’m blessed to have found out about this early because it has given me the time to fight and change the world for my daughter. In the fight against Alzheimer’s, I have hope,” wrote Martin.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
A July 31, 2019 UCI News article reported on a new study where University of California, Irvine researchers developed a way for microglia (human brain immune cells) to grow and function in mice, opening the door to investigate a host of neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury and stroke. “Microglia are now seen as having a crucial role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s. The functions of our cells are influenced by which genes are turned on or off. Recent research has identified over 40 different genes with links to Alzheimer’s and the majority of these are switched on in microglia. However, so far we’ve only been able to study human microglia at the end stage of Alzheimer’s in post-mortem tissues or in petri dishes,” said Associate Professor Mathew Blurton-Jones.
A July 31, 2019 New Atlas article looked at the link between liver disease and Alzheimer’s. A new study hypothesized that liver function biomarkers could offer novel ways to identify patients at heightened risk of developing AD. “While we have focused for too long on studying the brain in isolation, we now have to study the brain as an organ that is communicating with and connected to other organs that support its function and that can contribute to its dysfunction. The concept emerges that Alzheimer's disease might be a systemic disease that affects several organs including the liver,” said study co-lead Rima Kaddurah-Daouk of Duke University. Also covered by JAMA Network, and Technology Networks.
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
A July 31, 2019 Portland Press Herald article highlighted the upcoming Alzheimer’s Foundation of America national conference next week in Portland, which will feature Sen. Susan Collins (ME) as the keynote speaker. “I have strongly advocated for significant increases in funding for biomedical research. We have made progress in understanding Alzheimer’s disease in recent years, but we still have a long way to go,” said Collins. The event will include discussions about advances in AD research, free confidential memory screenings, and advice on how to prepare for long-term care. Free and open to the public on August 6, 2019, 9am-12:30pm, at the Portland Regency Hotel (OR).