January 10, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A January 9, 2019 Forbes article examined the financial realities of the BOLD (Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s) act, which will build a public health model to fight Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. According to the article, “There is a very important idea behind this new law: Helping state and local governments, Indian tribes, and the federal government work together to promote dementia education and caregiver support, as well as collect better data on these diseases. But BOLD’s unusual focus on public health, it’s extremely broad mandate, and questions about the adequacy of funding suggest there may be far less to the law than meets the eye… BOLD’s benefits also may be limited because states are required to provide a 30 percent match for any federal funding. ”


A January 10, 2019 New Atlas article reported that a new study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified the specific sleep phase which when disrupted, can be linked to early stages of cognitive decline, which can in turn lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia. According to the article, “The hypothesis behind the research is that decreased slow-wave sleep may correlate with increases in a brain protein called tau, which alongside amyloid-beta has been found to be significantly linked to the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.” Also covered by Web MDScience Daily, and others.


A January 9, 2019 Scientific American blog post by Jerold Chun looked at the role that gene recombination (GR), gene alterations that are not passed along by one’s parents, may play in triggering Alzheimer’s disease, and if there are already-approved drugs that can help treat it. According to Chun, “If our data are confirmed, this would indicate that recombination in these neurons may be involved in the disease process that leads to Alzheimer's. And our findings point as well to a class of existing medicines, approved for other disorders, which can interrupt GR and thus might be used to treat Alzheimer’s.”


A January 9, 2019 Medical News Today article looked at the potential effects of upping intake of the nutrient choline in a maternal diet to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s on future generations. Researchers “found that the protective effect of “maternal choline supplementation” persisted across multiple generations, even though the descendants’ diets were not enriched with choline… Research also shows that the effect of diet can last for generations and implies that this occurs through silencing of genes in the unborn.” The body uses choline for functions such as early brain development and the preservation of cell structure.


A January 9, 2019 MemoryWell article highlighted how the worries of caregiving can be harmful to the physical and emotional health of the caregiver. According to the article, “Caregivers worry about the health and well-being of their loved one while simultaneously worrying about demands on their time, resources and relationships. They worry about managing finances or about their own health and quality of life. For so many reasons, worry is inherent in caregiving.” Support groups and other interventions have proven successful in reducing caregiver stress. 


A January 4, 2019 AJC article spotlighted the story of Frank Borg, who surprised his wife of 54 years with a wedding vow renewal ceremony. Borg has dementia and was granted a wish by Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire (WI). The article reads, “According to Paula Gibson, the regional director of communications at Azura Memory Care, the company’s program, called MOSAIC Dreams, seeks out what the patient’s favorite memory is. Once Borg made his wish, local businesses pitched in, buying a replica of Sue Borg’s wedding bouquet and the couple’s wedding cake.”