Today's Top Alzheimer's News
A January 7, 2019 Futurism article looked at the potential to repurpose troriluzole, an ALS FDA-approved drug available since 1995, to halt or slow memory loss and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The “T2 Protect AD” nationwide clinical trial is recruiting people with Alzheimer’s disease to participate in the 48 week trial. According to the article, “There’s good reason to suspect that troriluzole may benefit people with Alzheimer’s in a similar way to how it’s used to treat ALS, as the mechanisms of cellular breakdown by the two diseases share similarities. While a great deal of Alzheimer’s research focuses on detection and prevention, T2 Protect AD may instead help doctors develop a new treatment.”
ALZHEIMER'S IN THE MEDIA
A January 7, 2019 ELLE article by writer Sascha Rothchild, whose father, a well-known writer, has Alzheimer’s disease, delves into her father’s past. Rothchild and her mom discovered her father’s infidelity only after he was stricken with the disease. “I’m furious at my father for making me work for love that should have felt unconditional, then for opening me up to vulnerability and forgiveness once he got Alzheimer’s, only to reveal himself as an impostor. I’m still in shock, trying to reframe my childhood narrative and make sense of two different realities. The one I always knew, that my parents were a magical couple and my father was worthy of my idolization; and the one I’ve just discovered, that my father has no moral compass.”
A January 8, 2019 Medical Xpress article spotlighted the largest genetic study of Alzheimer's disease, with more than 455,000 participants. According to Danielle Posthuma of VU University in Amsterdam, “Using single cell gene expression patterns, we show that genetic changes in genes that are expressed in microglia cells, are associated with increased risk for AD. Microglial cells are an important part of the immune system of the brain. This finding suggests that we should widen our focus to also include microglia…”
PROFILES IN COURAGE
A January 7, 2019 Ottawa Citizen article spotlighted Keith Barrett, who has early stage, young onset dementia at age 59. He is participating in the Alzheimer Society of Canada campaign — “Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.” — which aims to change attitudes and erase stigma. Barrett continues working full time and driving. According to the article, “He says the key to living well with dementia is constant learning: he’s systematized his routines, starting with morning grooming and relies on technology, including an iWatch, the virtual assistant Alexa at home and GPS when driving.”
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
A January 3, 2019 Being Patient article rebuffed the idea that ‘there’s nothing we can do’ after getting a dementia diagnosis. The new “IDEAL” (Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life) study suggests there are ways to minimize the effect dementia while living well and maximizing quality of life. “Our research gives more specific guidance on where we should focus efforts to help people live as well as possible with dementia. For example, looking at how we can help people with dementia to avoid depression or stay physically and socially active,” said study co-author Dr. Anthony Martyr of University of Exeter.
A January 1, 2019 Daily Wellness Pro article looked at how sports and physical activity improve mental health, combat depression and increase cognitive function. Exercise is credited with the following benefits: sharper memory, better cognitive function, slowing aging and decline in brain function, declined risk of neurological health concerns and lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease, amongst others. Exercise also helps keep mild cognitive disorder at bay.