January 29, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A January 28, 2020 Al Diá article focused on the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s disease on Latinos, which received a mention by Senator Amy Klobuchar in her 2019 election program. According to the article, “Much of this research has been conducted by the organization UsAgainstAlzheimer's who claim that studies in the United States focus on less than 4% in communities of color. Overall, only 5% of the reviews included a variant for recruiting underrepresented populations such as Latinas or African Americans. The studies surprisingly overlook the fact that African Americans are two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than non-Hispanic whites, while Latinos are 1.5 times more likely.”


A January 28, 2020 Being Patient article announced an aducanumab re-dosing study, which will be open to all 2,400 former phase three clinical trial participants, starting in March. All participants in the new study will receive the drug. According to the article, “…Patients who received aducanumab “experienced significant benefits” in memory and general cognition. Patients also experienced benefits on activities of daily living including conducting personal finances, performing household chores such as cleaning, shopping and doing laundry and independently traveling out of the home.”


According to a January 28, 2020 Yahoo! Finance article, results of Cassava Sciences’ NIH-backed, Phase 2b study of PTI-125 for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease will be announced mid-year 2020. The drug targets an altered form of the scaffolding protein filamin A (FLNA) in the brain, which disrupts the normal function of neurons, leading to AD pathology. “Cassava Sciences’ lead drug candidate, PTI-125, is a proprietary small molecule that restores the normal shape and function of FLNA in the brain. This action improves the function of certain receptors in the brain, slows neurodegeneration and exerts powerful anti-neuroinflammatory effects.”


A January 28, 2020 Medical Xpress article explored the connection between high blood pressure in childhood and dementia later in life. Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University) researchers are utilizing brain imaging to perform cognitive testing and study cerebral blood flow, brain health, arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis. According to the article, “They already have some evidence that an elevated blood pressure—whether from childhood trauma, obesity or lifestyle factors like diet and inactivity—begins to affect blood flow and alter the delicate architecture of the brain.”


A January 25, 2020 Post Bulletin article looked at the ethics and reality of advanced directives being honored for people who have dementia. Many states prohibit the withdrawal of assisted feeding, effectively nullifying wishes outlined in dementia directives. According to the article, “People with dementia are most likely to die in nursing facilities... "If you've got the resources, where you've got family and paid caregivers at home, you're all set," said Dr. Karl Steinberg, a California geriatrician and hospice physician who has written extensively about dementia directives. If you're living in a facility, he added, "it's not going to happen.””