December 6, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A December 4, 2018 SELF Magazine article featured advice about how to provide quality care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, create a well-rounded care plan, and navigate the process long term. According to the article, “Your top priority when it comes to providing care is to help prolong their dignity and independence as long as possible,” [Meryl] Comer says. So instead of jumping in and taking over all tasks and responsibilities, which can confuse or agitate the person with Alzheimer’s, “think of it more as if you’re running interference for them,” she says. For example, “You might pack an extra set of clothes when you go to a dinner party together in case of an accident, or make sure they get seated beside someone at the table who knows the situation and is sensitive to it,” Comer explains.” Comer is a Co-Founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.


A December 5, 2018 Ebony article spotlighted Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest fame, who opened-up publicly for the first time about caring for his mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. He called the experience “eye-opening” and “inspirational.” He dedicated a radio show for his mom’s birthday. “My mother suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s, so I’m going to be playing a lot of her favorite songs and stuff. And the dedication is not only to my mother, but to all those out there who suffer from dementia. All of the families that have to deal with or take care of a loved one who suffers with dementia.”


A December 4, 2018 UW Medicine Newsroom video explored the new approach to classifying people with Alzheimer’s disease into six sub-categories. Internist Paul Crane discusses the study and shift toward personalized medicine. “Novel targets that we can now pursue and the idea that they may be specific for one sub-group really provides a very different path forward than the rest of the field has been taking until this point… So when we treat it as multiple different things, we find much stronger signals than when you treat it as if it’s all one homogeneous thing.”


A December 5, 2018 Miami Herald article highlighted the unique needs of LGBT seniors who are dealing with dementia. In 2019, Our Fund will launch South Florida’s first LGBT community support group for people with AD and family caregivers. According to David Jobin of Our Fund, “There’s currently a generation of LGBT seniors who might be considered elder orphans. Many did not expect to live as long as they have or planned to care for an aging partner with dementia. Their reality often is very different from that of heterosexual couples dealing with Alzheimer’s.” 

According to a December 5, 2018 EurekAlert! release, Jonathan Haines, PhD of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine will lead a national collaboration to expand big data genetic Alzheimer's disease research to include more African-Americans and Hispanics, aided by a $14.6 million award from the NIA. “All communities are touched by Alzheimer's, so it is important for researchers to include everyone. By using large and diverse genetic databases, we may find unexpected correlations that provide surprise breakthroughs for specific communities, and that may point to new understanding about the disease in general,” said Haines.


A December 5, 2018 Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis release reported that a team of researchers was funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to analyze certain variants in TREM2 genes, and MS4A gene clusters, that may help protect some patients from Alzheimer’s disease. “We’re pushing beyond the proteins found in neurons to learn how other cell types in the brain may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study principal investigator Celeste M. Karch, PhD.