June 9, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


FaithUnitedAgainstAlzheimer’s, a UsA2 network, congratulates our partner, Daphne Johnston of the Adult Respite Ministry, First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, on the release of her new book, “Reclaiming Joy Together: Building a Volunteer Community of Real Hope for Those with Dementia.” The book summarizes lessons learned through operating a ‘friendship revolution,’ and lays out the vision for the future. According to the synopsis, “As a result of Respite’s individual story, the global narrative of dementia care began to change. “When people first hear the diagnosis of dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, they brace for what they assume will become an overwhelming tsunami—a flood of worry and work that will overtake and erode all normalcy and subsume a quality of life that can never be had again. That doesn't have to be true,” Daphne asserts.”


A June 8, 2020 Medical Xpress article reported that MIT neuroscientists developed a blood-brain-barrier (BBB) model which shows how APOE4 damages amyloid plaques and disrupts the brain's vasculature. They found they could prevent this damage with already-approved medications. According to the article, "The research indicates that in people with the APOE4 variant, pericytes in their vessels churn out too much APOE protein, explained senior author Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Picower Institute. APOE causes amyloid proteins, which are more abundant in Alzheimer's disease, to clump together. Meanwhile, the diseased pericytes' increased activation of the calcineurin/NFAT molecular pathway appears to encourage the elevated APOE expression.”

According to a June 7, 2020 Medical News Today article, new research from Estonian and Swedish scientists implicates faulty regulation of copper levels in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Copper aids in healthy metabolism and is located in high-activity areas of the body such as the brain. But it can also contribute to inflammation. “In addition to specific diagnoses, the effect of pharmaceuticals normalizing copper metabolism that are used for the treatment of the abovementioned diseases can also be monitored through copper equilibrium in blood,” said Prof. Peep Palumaa of Tallinn University of Technology.


A June 8, 2020 BioSpace article announced a NIA/NIH grant of approximately $75.8 million (over five years) to support Cognition Therapeutics’ Phase 2 study of CT1812 to treat people with early Alzheimer's disease. The study, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium, will be one of only five-to-seven during the present (five-year) award timeframe. According to the article, “CT1812 is a brain-penetrant small-molecule drug that has been shown to target the sigma-2 receptor, a key regulator of the cellular damage response. By so doing, CT1812 displaces toxic Aβ oligomers from synapses and protects against further oligomer binding, potentially stopping the synapse damage and destruction that is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”