December 4, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A December 4, 2018 The New York Times article by Philip Gutis, a former NYT reporter who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2016, spoke to his personal experience with AD. According to Gutis, “I’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to keep working. The small not-for-profit where I work allowed me to step down as director and keep a part-time leadership role. I can’t imagine my life without the structure and purpose of work.”

Read “Fighting for My Life: How to Thrive in the Shadow of Alzheimer’s” by Jamie Tyrone (hardcover available May, 2019), about a self-proclaimed “lab rat” who has a 91 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. “This book is unique because it offers expert medical advice from Dr. Sabbagh alongside Jamie’s real-life experiences as a woman living in the shadow of Alzheimer’s. In addition, Fighting for My Life is one of the only books on the market that takes an honest look at the pros, cons, and possible dangers of genetic testing.”


A December 3, 2018 Star Tribune article reported that starting in 2019, Minnesota will allow the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies have found that marijuana inhibits the formation of tau proteins, which accelerate dementia and memory loss. According to Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, “There is some evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis to improve the mood, sleep and behavior of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.” 12 states permit the use of medical marijuana for AD or related symptoms. Also covered by MPR NewsDuluth News Tribune and others.

A December 3, 2018 Fierce Biotech article reported that a team led by UCLA scientists found two gene clusters beset by mutations that cause an overproduction of tau, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “The UCLA team says more work needs to be done to identify the proper drug targets for lowering tau. But the researchers believe their findings provide “an important roadmap for the development of potentially effective new drugs for Alzheimer's disease and other dementia,” said senior author Daniel Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.”

A December 3, 2018 Being Patient article focused on how genetics factor into familial Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Francisco Lopera is running the multi-million dollar crenezumab drug trial in Antioquia, Colombia, in conjunction with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. The trial participants constitute the largest concentration of early-onset AD cases in the world. According to Lopera, “Our hope is to have success, but the population is prepared for any result. Regardless, we think that we have started the era of prevention here in Colombia.”


A December 2, 2018 The Advocate Alzheimer’s Q&A asked about holiday gift suggestions for people with dementia and their caregivers. Practical gifts top the list such as gift cards to nearby grocery stores, pharmacies or places that deliver meals for caregivers. Presents that bring joy, stimulate dialogue and promote pleasurable reminiscing are best for patients, like adult coloring books or photo albums.