August 5, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


An August 2, 2019 Defender Of Caregivers podcast interviewed UsAgainstAlzheimer’s advocates Dr. Don Wendorf and Lynda Everman about their Alzheimer’s advocacy work on the AD semipostal stamp, and writing books. All proceeds from the semipostal stamp are designated for research at the National Institutes of Health. All proceeds from “Dementia-friendly Worship: A Multifaith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy and Faith Communities,” and “Stolen Memories: An Alzheimer's Stole Ministry and Tallit Initiative” go directly to support the work of UsA2's FaithUnitedAgainstAlzheimer’s Coalition.


An August 2, 2019 The New York Times article looked at both positives and negatives for getting a brain scan that may predict Alzheimer’s disease. PET scans, upwards of $5,000 per scan, are not covered by either Medicare or private insurers. According to the article, “But as evidence mounts that brain damage from Alzheimer’s begins years before people develop symptoms, worried patients and their families may start turning to PET scans to learn if they have this biomarker. What downsides? Amyloid plaques occur commonly in older people’s brains, but not everyone with amyloid will develop dementia, which probably involves multiple factors. Nor does a negative PET scan mean someone won’t develop dementia.”


According to an August 5, 2019 The Jerusalem Post article, Hadassah-University Medical Center will produce the radioactive diagnostic agent Vizamyl, which estimates amyloid neuritic plaque density. This agent is used in PET scan brain imaging evaluating people with cognitive impairment for Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive issues. It can also be used on people in clinical trials with early onset AD as a baseline to compare to a second scan at the end of treatment.


An August 1, 2019 Cancer Network article spotlighted a new study which provides further support for the inverse association between developing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. “The take home [message] is that it’s worth pursuing the underlying biological explanations for this because although there’s many treatments for cancer, we don’t yet have one effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. I think that many of us are hoping that further investigation of this strange association would perhaps lead us closer to a treatment for Alzheimer’s or at least understanding it better than we have so far,” said Jane Driver, MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

An August 1, 2019 Medical Xpress article spotlighted work from neurobiologists at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic Universitywho studied the PSEN1ΔE9 mutation. This mutation, found in Finnish people with an inherited form of Alzheimer's disease, causes the removal of a certain gene region coding presenilin 1. According to the article, “After the EVP4593 compound that blocks store-operated calcium channels was added, the negative effects of the mutation were considerably reduced and neural functions were almost back to normal. Therefore the team suggested that EVP4593 and compounds with similar activity may become promising prototypes of anti-Alzheimer's drugs.”