March 16, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


According to a March 16, 2020 Medical Xpress article, researchers in the Netherlands focused on the role of HSP-90 (“Heat Shock Protein 90”), a molecular chaperone and its effect on tau deposits, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. HSP-90 causes the “paper clip conformation” of tau to open, exposing the area responsible for aggregation. According to the article, “Is the presence of the chaperone thus a pre-requisite for the formation of Alzheimer fibrils? Is the chaperone, of all molecules, ultimately the one that causes the development of Alzheimer’s disease? The researchers will pursue this question in further studies.”

A March 12, 2020 WSAV broadcast segment highlighted the anti-hypertensive drug Nilvadipine, which is being explored as a treatment for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It opens blood vessels in the brain and also clears toxic amyloid protein. Although not FDA approved, the drug entered clinical trials in Europe. According to the segment, “Early-stage patients who took Nilvadipine had a much slower decline over time. “In fact, there’s about a 50% reduction in the rate of decline.””

A March 13, 2020 Medical Xpress article looked at chronic brain inflammation and its link to progressive memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. A collaboration of researchers found that a treatment regime with resolvins, a specialized lipid, reversed memory loss in a Down syndrome model without adverse effects. "We have an ancient pathway that helps us return our damaged bodies to normal, which is known as the resolution response. In our model, we can now engage this response with the specialized lipids and, in a more natural way, calm down long-term inflammation,” said lead study author Eric D. Hamlett, PhD of Medical University of South Carolina.


(ICYMI) In a March 6, 2020 Being Patient Perspectives video interview, Founder Deborah Kan spoke with Arthena Caston, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As an African-American, Caston is around 14% more likely to develop AD than her white counterparts, and also more likely to be misdiagnosed. Her mission is to advocate for joyful living with Alzheimer’s.Caston spoke about the stigma, "I’ll be the first to say that I didn’t want anybody to know, I just kind of wanted to keep it a secret. And then I talked to my baby daughter one day, and she just said, “Mom, why are you being like that? Everyone is going to know eventually anyway.””