December 20, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A December 13, 2018 Nature Scientific Reports article focused on Latinos and the apoE4 isoform, which is linked to increased cholesterol, cardiovascular risk, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. According to the article, “Latino genetic diversity is understudied and consequently poorly understood, which has significant implications for understanding disease risk in nearly one-fifth of the US population.” Dr. Hector M. González, one of the study authors, is a member of the ADDEN Network, which was launched by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. 


A December 20, 2018 McKnight’s Senior Living article reported that this week, the House of Representatives passed the BOLD Act (Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s). It now moves forward to the president’s desk. It authorizes $100 million over five years. “I am proud of the overwhelming bipartisan support our legislation received in Congress and in communities across the nation. BOLD brings us to the brink of a brighter day for Alzheimer’s, and I look forward to it being signed into law,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).


(ICYMI) A December 12, 2018 National Institute on Aging/NIH article looked at Latinos and their heightened risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The NIA-supported Study of Latinos-Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging is looking at middle-aged and older Latinos with mild cognitive impairment relating to such factors as cardiovascular health and genetic risk. UsAgainstAlzheimer's collaboration with GAP and University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center was featured by the NIA. 


A December 19, 2018 Science Magazine article focused on “nodding syndrome,” which affects children in East African countries, and has similarities to Alzheimer’s disease. The syndrome is a tauopathy, hallmarked by tau tangles in the brain, and now hypothesized to be a neurodegenerative disease, as opposed to being triggered by a parasite or virus, as was previously thought. According to the article, “Some who study the condition are skeptical, but the possibility excites researchers working on other tauopathies including Alzheimer's. Childhood forms of those diseases are exceedingly rare, but the nodding syndrome finding "means [tau deposition] is not an age-dependent problem," says John Hardy, of the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London.”


According to a December 18, 2018 News Medical Life Sciences article, Scripps Research scientists found a new compound that blocks the cause of frontotemporal dementia, which they are assessing as a potential drug treatment. It binds with a specific form of RNA, which manages the expression of genes and targets the disease’s root cause, interfering with production of the toxic C9RAN protein. “We have a long and winding road to make this into a drug. You have to not only show that a molecule works, but that it is safe. Now that we have a target and we know how to bind it, this should accelerate making compounds that could become drugs in a much more streamlined way,” said chemist Matthew Disney, PhD.

A December 14, 2018 VUMC (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) Reporter article highlighted the first study to use “meta analysis network mapping.” It shows that results from prior Alzheimer’s studies which can’t be reproduced to a single location in the brain are mappable to a distributed network. According to the article, “Of the 26 Alzheimer’s studies examined, reproducibility to a specific region came to 20 to 30 percent – a low rate that highlights one of the persistent challenges in studies. But when looking at reproducibility to a network, the rate surged to 100 percent.”


(ICYMI) A November 13, 2018 Help for Alzheimer’s Families’ “Live chat with expert: David Troxel” webinar spoke with the expert in Alzheimer’s disease and memory care about caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or dementia over the holiday season.