February 5, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A February 2, 2020 60 Minutes broadcast segment with host Bill Whitaker reported on FTD (frontotemporal dementia), which attacks the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, looking back on a segment from 2019 featuring UsAgainstAlzheimer’s advocate Tracey Lind, who has the condition. The lab of Dr. Bruce Miller at the University of California San Francisco is doing cutting-edge research on FTD, which can affect speech, personality, judgement and empathy. It can be misdiagnosed as mental illness and illusive to get a correct diagnosis.


A February 2, 2020 Al Jazeera feature by Amy Doyle recounted her frightening story of being followed home by an unknown car, only to find a confused woman, Delores, behind the wheel. According to the piece, “"I'm lost," she wept. "I don't know where I am or how I even got here." … She looked younger up close, wore stylish glasses, and had the large, capable hands of a volleyball or piano player… “You scared the hell out of me. I thought I was being followed." "Oh, I was following you," she replied innocently. "I was terrified I was going to lose you. I didn't know where I was so I just kept following you.”"


According to a February 4, 2020 EurekAlert! News release, University College London researchers found in a new study that a class of gene variants, which reduces the functioning of tyrosine phosphatases proteins, appears to protect against Alzheimer's disease. The proteins are linked to cell survival via the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β cell signalling pathway. "These results are quite encouraging. It looks as though when naturally-occurring genetic variants reduce the activity of tyrosine phosphatases then this makes Alzheimer's disease less likely to develop, suggesting that drugs which have the same effect might also be protective," said lead study author Professor David Curtis of UCL Genetics Institute. Also covered by Medical Xpress.  


A February 3, 2020 Community Impact Newspaper article highlighted survey results, presented at a public interest meeting, finding that local residents support participation in a long-term memory loss research study at The University of Texas Austin. According to the article, “Results showed that of 279 respondents, 85% were interested in memory and learning activities associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The survey allowed takers to select multiple interests and also found that 72% of respondents were interested in exercise and diet and nutrition as it relates to memory loss.”