Today's Top Alzheimer's News
Register for our next AlzTalks, “Where Are We in the Search for Better Treatments?” Journalist, author and UsA2 advocate Meryl Comer speaks with leading Alzheimer’s disease expert Dr. R. Scott Turner of the Georgetown University Memory Disorders Program about the current Alzheimer’s disease drug pipeline. August 14, 2019 at 1pm (EST). Click herefor a recap.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
An August 12, 2019 Newsweek article spotlighted a new study, from the University of California, San Francisco, about the link between daytime sleepiness and Alzheimer’s disease, which is connected to the build-up of tau protein. “…Our lab and many others have shown that neuropsychiatric symptoms, especially problems related to sleep and wakefulness, arise in Alzheimer's disease, even before cognitive decline. In this particular paper, we provide compelling evidence that a whole network of neurons that keep us awake are annihilated,” said lead study author Jun Oh.
According to an August 11, 2019 New Atlas article, a new study on the connection between depression and Alzheimer’s disease, led by Harvard Medical School researchers, found that levels of amyloid beta plaques correlate with increasing symptoms of depression and decreasing cognition. Utilizing longitudinal data from the Harvard Aging Brain Study, they hypothesized that mild depression is one of the first clinical signs of AD. “Depression symptoms themselves may be among the early changes in the preclinical stages of dementia syndromes. Just as importantly, these stages represent a clinical window of opportunity for closely monitoring at-risk individuals, and for potentially introducing interventions to prevent or slow cognitive decline,” said lead study author Jennifer Gatchel.
PATIENT AND CAREGIVER VOICES
An August 9, 2019 The Washington Post “On Parenting” perspective pieceby Meg Ounsworth Steere wrote of a friendship forged on a playground between two women playing dual caregiving roles: raising young children and caregiving for aging parents with dementia. Steere wrote, “Our friendship blossomed from the strange purgatory of the land between life and death that is Alzheimer’s, where the physical being is still present, but the person who raised you, the soul who shaped and loved you unconditionally, is gone; from the implicit understanding of grief over the Grammy who never got to play her most prized role; from the exhausting effort to live in the present for the sake of our kids, knowing that our moms would never want to rob us of this precious, fleeting time.”
An August 7, 2019 The Chronicle of Higher Education article looked at the demands that student caregivers face when caring for an ill parent or grandparent. Young caregivers often do not seek help, or tell anyone about their situation, and may face consequences for tardiness and absenteeism. “Most colleges and universities offer support to students struggling academically or socially, such as tutors, study groups, or on-campus counselors. But the student caregivers who could benefit from those services are often unaware of them,” said expert Lisa Schumacher.