Today's Top Alzheimer's News
According to a February 3, 2020 Yahoo! Finance article, researchers at Dongguk University in South Korea used "DNA scissors,” via the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool, to treat Alzheimer’s disease in mice by editing-out the BACE 1 gene. BACE 1 drives the production of amyloid-β proteins in the brain. According to the article, “The authors advise caution, however, as gene editing cannot be undone. In Dr. Kim's words, one must ensure that "no detrimental, and potentially very rare, genomic alterations are caused". Thus, this technique requires much more research before it can be applied to human subjects.”
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
A February 3, 2020 The Motley Fool article reported that the FDA approved the insomnia drug Belsomra to treat people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease experiencing sleep disorders. Around 40% of people with AD are affected by sleep disruptions. Merck reported the drug’s positive phase 3 clinical trial results in 2019.
A February 3, 2020 New Atlas article spotlighted new research on the link between regular aerobic exercise and Alzheimer’s disease. The study, out of the University of Wisconsin, found that participants who were given a personal trainer and intense training programs developed improved cardio fitness, more active lifestyles and scored higher on cognitive tests of executive functioning when compared to participants who just received information on healthy lifestyle changes. “This study is a significant step toward developing an exercise prescription that protects the brain against AD, even among people who were previously sedentary,” said lead investigator Ozioma C. Okonkwo.
CLINICAL TRIAL SPOTLIGHT
A February 3, 2020 Georgia Tech article and video took a closer look at how flickering light holds potential for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Exposure to light flickering at 40 hertz, or 40 beats per second, causes the brain to activate microglia, which is linked to the removal of amyloid beta from the brain, which is a major hallmark of AD. Mouse studies from the Georgia Institute of Technology inform human studies at Emory University. Also covered by Medical Xpress and Technology Networks.