Alzheimer's Daily - Today's Top Alzheimer's News
A March 14, 2019 CNN article quoted data from a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics which found that the rate of Americans who died from dementia more than doubled from the year 2000 to 2017. Alzheimer's accounted for 46% of the deaths due to dementia in in 2017. “If people live longer, they don't die of other causes, so they live to the point where the risk for dementia is higher,” said lead report author Dr. Ellen Kramarow.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
A March 14, 2019 The New York Times article featured new research out of M.I.T. which found that sensory stimulation, in the form of strobe lights and clicking sounds, may be a key to treating Alzheimer’s disease. When mice were exposed to such stimuli important brain functions improved, toxic levels of AD-related proteins diminished, and they were better at cognitive and memory skills like navigating mazes and recognizing objects. The technique had short-lasting effects, up to one week, and may not be replicable on humans. The light and sound was delivered at frequency which appears to synchronize the rhythm of the brain’s gamma waves, which are disrupted in Alzheimer’s. Also covered by Scientific American, Boston Globe, and others.
A March 13, 2019 National Institute on Aging article focused on the connection between mitochondria and Alzheimer’s disease, explored in a new NIA-led study by an international team of researchers. According to the article, “The scientific team wanted to better understand whether the large accumulations of damaged mitochondria found in post-mortem brain samples from people who had Alzheimer’s disease might be further evidence for mitophagy malfunctions as a major factor in the disease. Confirming their hypothesis, the research team also found significant amounts of damaged mitochondria in neuron samples from Alzheimer’s models in mice and in the worm C. elegans, indicating a dramatic reduction in mitophagy.”
A March 14, 2019 Kaiser Health News article looked at the effects of loneliness on an aging society. Potential health impacts of loneliness include heightened risk of dementia and heart disease, and early death. Health insurers, health care systems, senior housing operators and social service agencies are among those exploring the phenomena and its effects, including several health providers who are launching programs in response. According to Dr. Vyjeyanthi Periyakoil of Stanford University School of Medicine, “Assuaging loneliness is not just about having random human contact; it’s about the quality of that contact and who you’re having contact with.”
A March 11, 2019 WEAU NBC 13 News broadcast segment spotlighted new homes at Azura Memory Care, opening in April, designed specifically for people with dementia. “Each home has been set-up to be dementia specific and there’s different things that we’ve done ensure that it helps those that have memory loss. That they’re supported throughout their journey,” said Paula Gibson. Each home will accommodate 24 residents.