July 2, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A July 1, 2019 News Channel 5 Nashville broadcast segment and articlefeatured the story of Amy Grace, the 32 year-old caregiver to her mom, 82 year-old Joan Dunsire, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Amy Grace spends time with her mom every day at the memory care facility where she lives, and is among a growing group of caregiving millennials. According to the article, “A recent report by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging stated about one out of two millennial dementia caregivers mentioned caregiving interfered with work, and 33 percent reported severe interference which include cutting back hours, losing job benefits or being fired. There is also the financial toll it is having on the younger generation.”

A June 28, 2019 MemoryWell article caught up with Cynthia Huling Hummel about life after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. According to the article, ““If I sit at home and feel sorry for myself, it doesn’t serve anybody,” she said. That helped her move from a mindset of “why me?” to “what next?” she said. Cynthia decided her “what next?” was to advocate for others with Alzheimer’s… “I’m not on any medicines, but my prescription is to stay active and to help other people.”” Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel is a member of the UsA2 FaithUnitedAgainstAlzheimer’s Coalition, and a contributor to our new Dementia-Friendly Worship Handbook.


A July 1, 2019 BioTechniques article spotlighted a new study which found that female carriers of the E4 allele of the APOE gene are more likely to accumulate neurotoxic levels of tau tangles in their brain, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, than their male counterparts. According to lead study author Manish Paranjpe of University of California, San Francisco, “Our results have implications for clinical trials, biomarkers, and therapeutic development in Alzheimer’s. In designing clinical trials aimed at an MCI cohort, potentially our study suggests that the dosage of anti-tau antibodies should be modified by APOE E4-sex group.”


A July 2, 2019 Medical News Today article looked at the ability of blood tests to accurately detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in order to initiate treatment as early as possible. Two new studies investigated the effectiveness of a “fully automated immunoassay” for detecting beta-amyloid levels. “[W]e are starting to approach a level of accuracy that is usable in routine clinical care around the world,” said Dr. Oskar Hansson of Lund University in Sweden. According to the article, “The researchers hope that the test will soon help clinicians screen potential participants in clinical drug trials for Alzheimer's, or that it will help healthcare professionals diagnose Alzheimer's more accurately and earlier on, thus improving people's access to treatment and their overall outlook.”

A June 29, 2019 Medical Xpress article investigated the phenomena of “paradoxical lucidity,” unexpected moments of clarity which can occur even in cases of advanced dementia. A thorough scientific analysis could help shed light on the pathophysiology of dementia, including potentially reversible components of dementia. “We look forward to additional research in this area, such as better characterization of lucidity in its varying presentations, new instruments or methods to assess episodes of lucidity retrospectively or in real-time, tools to analyze speech patterns or other behavioral manifestations of lucidity, and evidence to inform decision-making challenges and opportunities prompted by unexpected lucidity,” said Basil Eldadah, MD, PhD of the NIA.