May 14, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A May 14, 2019 New Atlas article reported on the successful first phase of human clinical testing of the Alzheimer’s drug PRI-002, which breaks down toxic amyloid beta protein, a primary toxic element of Alzheimer’s disease. According to researcher Janine Kutzsche of Jülich Research Centre in Germany, who worked on the preclinical studies, “We were able to show that mice with symptoms similar to Alzheimer's had an improvement in cognitive performance after treatment with PRI-002. The memory and cognition of the treated mice were significantly improved compared to the placebo group and could even no longer be distinguished from the memory performance of healthy mice.”


A May 13, 2019 The Washington Post article explored the idea of packaging research loans into government-backed, 10-year bonds in order to support hard-to-fund, high risk, early-stage medical research, such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “Investors are reluctant to take risks on potential treatments in such early-stage research, so much so that this translational research phase is popularly referred to as the “valley of death.” Promising findings from basic research often fail to make their way into clinical trials, missing out on the chance to be developed into a therapy for patients.”


A May 12, 2019 The Advocate Alzheimer’s Q&A asked if a healthy lifestyle in midlife lowers the risk of developing dementia. Data from a study following 800 Swedish women for 44 years scored the effects of both mental and physical activities on cognition, and showed that increasing both could affect cognition later. “We found that mental activities in midlife, such as reading a book, doing crossword puzzles, singing or visiting concerts, to name a few, reduced the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, regardless of how physically active the women were. Physical activity, meanwhile, in midlife reduced the risk of more vascular forms of dementia, regardless of how mentally active the women were,” said study author Jenna Najar of the Institute for Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Gothenburg.


A May 13, 2019 WFMZ-TV 69 News broadcast segment spotlighted a clinical trial utilizing focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier in an attempt to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and potentially other brain conditions. “Opening the blood-brain barrier allows us to access more of the brain tissue and be able to increase the effectiveness, or bioavailability, of the therapeutics,” said Dr. Vibhor Krishna of Ohio State Waxner Medical Center.


(ICYMI) Listen to an April 18, 2019 The Conference Forum podcast, “Modernizing Clinical Trials with IQVIA’s Dr. Cynthia Verst.” According to Verst, “It does take a village here in terms of adopting and implementing modernization in that innovation associated with clinical trials…”