March 17, 2020

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A March 16, 2020 Medical Xpress article focused on new research delving into the diversity of astrocytes in the cerebral cortex, and the implications for Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. Astrocytes take distinct molecular forms depending upon their location in the cerebral cortex and overlap the neuronal layers. "This study shows that the cortical architecture is more complex than previously thought. It provides a basis to begin to understand the precise roles played by astrocytes, and how they are involved in human neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases,” said senior study author Professor David Rowitch of the University of Cambridge.


In a March 16, 2020 Being Patient Brain Talks, Founder Deborah Kan interviewed Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu of Johns Hopkins University about the possibility of using psychedelics, including LSD, ayahuasca, psilocybin, DMT and mescaline, to treat Alzheimer’s disease and affect brain health. Such drugs have been off limits for decades, but are now starting to come into the research forefront. According to Garcia-Romeu, “These types of drugs… we know that they do produce changes in both brain function and structure… When you start to look at the animal literature in particular, there’s a very good basis to suggest that when used appropriately, psychedelics can actually enhance learning, enhance cognitive function… We’re seeing things around working memory, object consolidation, fear memory… You can actually improve the memory and learning process.”


A March 17, 2020 The Korea Herald article announced that Samsung Biologics will develop Aprinoia’s anti-tau monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “Through this contract development deal, Samsung Biologics will manufacture clinical sample of Aprinoia’s Alzheimer’s treatment pipeline and help its application for clinical tests as an investigational new drug. This CDO deal will help Samsung Biologics effectively expand its business to cover the greater China. It is already negotiating with some 20 Chinese companies.”


According to a March 15, 2020 New Atlas article, University of Pennsylvania scientists found a signaling pathway, PERK (PKR-like ER kinase), that regulates sleep and controls protein aggregations commonly associated with neurodegeneration. This adds to the growing body of research linking poor sleep to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. “From our findings, we would posit that PERK is a general and cross-species mechanism that underlies proteostatic changes that wakefulness might inherently perturb and may play a critical role in modulating synapses during sleep. Consistent with this notion, we observed that inhibiting PERK signaling most consistently suppressed sleep during night,” wrote the researchers.