June 6, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A June 5, 2019 Medical News Today article spotlighted a new study focusing on the link between high blood pressure and cognitive decline. Researchers utilized the German "Disease Analyzer" database and found that older adults who follow antihypertensive treatments have a lower incidence of dementia. According to the article, “The team found that those who took certain antihypertensive drugs — including beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers — seemed to have a lower risk of dementia.”


A June 6, 2019 Fox News opinion piece by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito urged people to continue prioritizing a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and support the CHANGE Act. Both of Capito’s parents died from AD. According to Capito, “This disease is devastating, and there is no book or a magic formula for how to face it. But I feel strongly that we can do more to ease the pain of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, to help their caregivers, and most importantly, to find a cure… There is a real bipartisan desire to take it on, and in recent months, I’ve partnered with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to take steps in tackling Alzheimer’s.”


A June 4, 2019 Medical Xpress article spotlighted a first-of-its-kind study on the ABCA7 gene in African Americans, and its link to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Rutgers University looked at a risk variant of the gene which “appears to diminish the ability of physical fitness to increase cognition and memory abilities in older African Americans…” African Americans are at heightened risk for developing AD. According to study lead Professor Mark A. Gluck, “…These finding could lead to a deeper understanding of the unique pathways to Alzheimer's disease that put African Americans at higher risk, and thus point us towards new approaches to therapeutic or behavioral changes that could reduce the burden of Alzheimer's on African Americans.”


A June 3, 2019 Being Patient article looked at five tech gadgets assisting people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. They recommend: Amazon’s Echo Show Drop In feature, which instantly initiates two-way video calls to check on loved ones; AngelSense GPS tracker, for loved ones who wander or may forget their address; Vitals App for Minnesota-based law enforcement officers to assist people with dementia; Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell, which allows caregivers to remotely speak with their loved one if they forget or misplace their house keys; and GreatCall’s Lively Mobile Plus fall-detection technology.


(ICYMI) A May 17, 2019 Women’s Brain Health initiative article highlighted the lack of sex-specific research into Alzheimer’s disease. Women have higher incidences of AD for which there may be unique biological reasons, in addition to genetic, lifestyle and societal factors. According to the article, “Although substantial advances in precision medicine have been made over the past years for some diseases (particularly in cancer care), for most other diseases – including AD – precision medicine is only in its beginning. Part of the customization of precision medicine includes examining the ways in which sex and gender are implicated in disease processes.”