August 6, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


In an August 5, 2019 Being Patient Brain Talks video, Deborah Kan interviewed Olivier Danos about a promising new blood test, from French company Amoneta Diagnostics, to detect mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease. The test measures RNA (ribonucleic acids) in the blood. “The technology we have allows us to look very precisely at differences in the blood. We can look at thousands and thousands of different RNAs and specific groups and see where they are, and whether they’re over represented or underrepresented. We can have an identification card of a given blood sample and we can diagnose something like Alzheimer’s disease in that sample. This is our goal, this is what we’re trying to develop,” said Danos.


An August 6, 2019 Popular Science article asked why more women get Alzheimer’s disease than men. A new study from Johns Hopkins found that women experience increased memory loss due to cumulative stress.According to the article, “Studies in humans tend to focus on incidents that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder, while this latest research is “directly comparing everyday stressors that we all might reasonably expect to experience in life, including things that might be quite welcome, like the birth of a child,” [Emory University professor Shannon L.] Gourley says. “They find that these everyday stressors are actually having pretty negative consequences for cognitive function in women.””


An August 6, 2019 The Guardian article announced that dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, was the leading cause of death in England and Wales last year, even higher for women than men. Almost one in eight died of dementia, according to latest figures. The increase is due to longer lifespans and surviving other illnesses, as well as better diagnosis and understanding of dementia.


An August 5, 2019 The Washington Post article highlighted David Nisbet, who created a monthly ‘dementia friendly’ night at Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House in Huntington (W. VA), in honor of his father who had Lewy Body Dementia. He is training the waitstaff to connect with people with dementia.“I found that people would bend over backward to help us… In Huntington, my hope is that the same thing will happen when people show up for ‘dementia friendly’ night… Families are often afraid to take their loved one out… As it is now, too many people feel compelled to hide away a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s. We’re hoping to change that,” said Nisbet.


An August 1, 2019 McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article spotlighted two young entrepreneurs working in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, each inspired by their own mother’s early-onset diagnosis. Carrie Shaw founded Embodied Labs with the goal of training caregivers in skilled nursing settings, and beyond, to understand what people with Alzheimer’s are going through. Jacob Hamman creates virtual reality experiences through his company, Zenjoi, for people with AD and cognitive impairments. According to the article, “Both offer an inspiring look at how, in dire circumstances related to cognitive decline, those with passion and smarts can challenge the status quo. But there’s another part: The families of residents, and providers in their own lives, may often have to recalibrate their lives when illness strikes. “