July 13, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A June 29, 2018 Univision article (in Spanish) highlighted the growing role of millennials in caregiving. The piece includes analysis of the impact of dementia caregiving on millennials developed by UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the USC Roybal Institute on Aging. 

Watch the “What’s The Story?” video from The Scan Foundation, featuring three LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s advocates: Daisy Duarte, Martin Prado and Lisette Carbajal, all caregivers for family members with Alzheimer’s disease. The video is part of the “Do YOU give a care?” campaign, an effort to recast the stereotypical “me-first” Millennial image with a more accurate portrayal of Millennials and Gen Xers as caring, supportive and socially conscious individuals. Statistics show that one in three young people in the U.S. are providing unpaid care for a loved one. Read more about Millennials and caregiving in this report from UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.  If you’re a caregiver or ally, join the “Do YOU give a care?” campaign and share your story: #YouGiveACare.


A July 11, 2018 Post Bulletin article spoke with Alzheimer’s expert Dr. Ronald Petersen of the Mayo Clinic about the initial top-line results reported last week about BAN2401 antibody to treat AD. According to Petersen, “…When they looked at the PET scans at the beginning and at 18 months, there was less plaque at 18 months than there was at the beginning, implying the drug removed some of the amyloid from the brain… However, there was something in the data — apparently — that caused them to go on to 18 months. That means if there was one group that didn’t seem to be responding well at all, they would reallocate that group to a higher dose group, or something like that.”


A July 12, 2018 VB article looked at the role of artificial intelligence in personalizing diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. AI has previously been used in a PET scan-ingesting algorithm to identify which patients will develop dementia, as well as through machine learning to pick up changes in brain tissue loss over time. A new system developed by Unlearn.AI uses data that hasn’t been classified or labeled, and computes predictions and confidence intervals for multiple characteristics of a patient. According to Unlearn.AI researchers, “Two patients with the same disease may present with different symptoms, progress at different rates, and respond differently to the same therapy. Understanding how to predict and manage differences between patients is the primary goal of precision medicine.”

A July 12, 2018 Futurity article reported that researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University and the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health developed a personalized Therapeutic Intervention Fingerprint (pTIF) to deliver personalized treatments to patients with neurological disease. They used used computational brain modeling and artificial intelligence techniques to predict the effectiveness of targeting specific biological factors (brain amyloid/tau deposition, inflammation, neuronal functional dysregulation) to control the evolution of disease. According to the article, “Because drugs to control disease progression would have to modify gene expression and brain properties at the same time, drugs tailored to pTIF subtypes would be much more effective than drugs designed to treat all Alzheimer’s disease patients. This is the first study to pinpoint a direct link between brain dynamics, predicted therapeutic responses, and molecular and cognitive alterations in patients.”


Stay informed about all the happenings, latest research and information at the 33rd Alzheimer’s Disease International 2018 conference by reading Kate Elliott’s “On Biology” blog. The conference is in Chicago from July 26-29, 2018.