January 11, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


Join Home Instead Senior Care’s Help for Alzheimer’s Families live chat webinar with WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s (WAA) Brooks Kenny on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Kenny and host Lakelyn Hogan will explore healthy habits for family caregivers. WAA is an UsAgainstAlzheimer’s network.

Attend the “Souls Shine Forth” caregiver and volunteer workshops on January 24, 2019, at First United Methodist Church in Dothan (AL), presented by Respite Care Ministry. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s advocate, caregiver and author Lynda Everman, neurologist, author and educator Dr. Daniel Potts, and psychologist, caregiver and author Dr. Don Wendorf will present on how to preserve relationships and build community for people living with dementia. They are all part of the Dementia Friendly Faith Communities Initiative.


A January 9, 2019 Los Angeles Times article reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom (CA) will call for the creation of a brain health task force, with $3 million a year to fund Alzheimer’s disease research. The funds will focus on disparities - why women and people of color are more likely to develop AD. According to Maria Shriver, who helped push for the funding, “This is personal to me, just like it is to millions of California families. Alzheimer's is one of the largest medical, social and economic crises in our state, and of our time. I am so proud that, once again, California is leading the way.” 


A January 11, 2019 Medical Xpress article looked at the function of the precursor protein that produces amyloid-β, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, which has remained enigmatic since the late 1980’s. Researchers at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research found the protein modulates neuronal signal transmission by binding to a specific nerve cell receptor (GABABR1a). According to researcher Bart De Strooper, “The newly identified role of the amyloid precursor protein may underlie the neuronal network abnormalities we see in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and preceding clinical onset in human patients.” Also covered by Science Daily.  


A January 7, 2019 Being Patient article looked at how dancing can boost your brain. Dancing is unique from other exercise because it is social, and isolation has been linked to dementia, it incorporates music, which has also been linked to cognitive health, and taps several brain networks. “Dancing requires not only balance, strength, and endurance ability, but also cognitive ability: adaptability and concentration to move according to the music and partner, artistry for graceful and fluid motion, and memory for choreography. We think that these various elements may contribute to the superiority of dancing in maintaining a higher activities of daily life capacity,” said researcher Yosuke Osuka of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.


According to a January 8, 2019 Medium article, the majority of recommendations on how to increase clinical trial recruitment ‘miss the mark completely.’ Following are to-do’s from a patient and care partner’s perspective to improve recruitment and likelihood of success. The suggestions include: involving patients/care partners in the ideation and design phases, prioritizing patient advisory boards as essential think tanks, and providing digital tools for clinical trial exploration. “Stop looking for volunteers to simply fill your quotas. You need to start looking for research partners. Clinical trials are a commitment and a profound sacrifice. Many patients strongly express that they want to be proactive in advancing science and medicine.”