March 14, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A March 12, 2019 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s release, by Chairman George Vradenburg, reacted to the President’s proposed budget cuts to the NIH and NIA. According to Vradenburg, “We have seen firsthand the power of year-over-year increases to funding for research. Cancer and HIV/AIDS were once death sentences, but because research was funded at levels consistent with the severity of these diseases, mortality rates have sharply decreased. It is not the time to decrease research funding for any disease, especially one as complex and devastating as Alzheimer’s. If we do, it would severely damage our ability to discover innovative new treatments and could cost countless lives.”


A March 13, 2019 Scientific American Observations post, by neuroscience student Kenneth Shinozuka, who is conducting research on the antimicrobial protection hypothesis of Alzheimer's at the Genetics and Aging Research Unit in Harvard Medical School, looked at the growing case that AD may be triggered by pathogens. According to Shinozuka, “…The repeated failure of the drugs would appear to suggest that the so-called “amyloid beta hypothesis” may not be entirely correct… It’s worth at least entertaining the possibility that amyloid beta may not be intrinsically pathological. To be clear, excessive levels of amyloid beta certainly contribute to Alzheimer’s, but it would be wrong to characterize amyloid beta as a protein whose sole function in the brain is to cause disease.”


A March 7, 2019 Xinhua News article spotlighted work out of Northwestern Medicine to try and treat people with Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), a type of dementia which currently has no treatment. Study researchers hope to initiate a clinical trial to test cholinesterase inhibitors, used to lessen Alzheimer's symptoms. According to senior study author Changiz Geula, “The findings provide the basic scientific foundation to spur a clinical trial to test the treatment on patients with PPA.”


A March 12, 2019 KALW radio segment talked with Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, both of the Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University, about the potential for lifestyle changes to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. They believe that 90% of Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented or turned-around through managing things like nutrition, exercise, sleep and social engagement.


A March 12, 2019 Channel 3000 broadcast segment spotlighted the use of sensory bags, by first responders in Sun Prairie, WI, to help calm and soothe people with dementia. A special grant from the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Dane County made it possible to provide 60 bags to the local EMS team containing things like stuffed animals, dolls and squishy balls.