May 2, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A May 1, 2019 Boca Newspaper article spotlighted UsAgainstAlzheimer’s friend and advocate Marilu Henner, who recently attended the 5th Annual Brain Bowl at Boca West Country Club to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Henner has hyperthymesia – total recall memory. According to Henner, “I do a lot of work for Alzheimer’s and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and I’ve spoken in front of Congress, in fact, last September I was there talking about more money for research and how important it is. The thing is these diseases don’t affect just one part of your brain… What they use us for those with HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory) is they wire us, put us through an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and they (medical researchers and scientists) found nine areas larger than the normal brain, so they’re testing how our neurological pathways fire-up.”


A May 2, 2019 Technology Networks article looked at the link between Alzheimer’s disease and prions, misfolded versions of a protein that can spread like an infection. UCSF researchers used novel laboratory tests to detect and measure specific, self-propagating prion forms of amyloid beta and tau in postmortem brain tissue. According to senior study author Stanley Prusiner, MD, “I believe this shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that amyloid beta and tau are both prions, and that Alzheimer's disease is a double-prion disorder in which these two rogue proteins together destroy the brain. The fact that prion levels also appear linked to patient longevity should change how we think about the way forward for developing treatments for the disease. We need a sea change in Alzheimer's disease research, and that is what this paper does.”

An April 29, 2019 University of Cambridge Department of Chemistry articlespoke of a new study which recommends broadening the approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease, including a greater range of therapeutic tools. Researchers studied species of aggregates, other than amyloid plaques, which also build-up in the brain during the clumping process. According to the article, “As their findings suggest that the different toxic mechanisms driven by different soluble aggregated species of Aβ42 may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers argue that we need to tackle these aggregates as well in order to treat patients effectively.” “The different toxicities of the aggregates may be why, at different stages of the disease, you see different symptoms. Knowing this, we can then consider the question of how we target these aggregates,” said Professor Sir David Klenerman.


A May 1, 2019 WJLA ABC 7 article honored Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, who received an award for his Alzheimer’s advocacy at the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation’s annual luncheon. Oshie’s father has AD, and he posted a video which went viral after his team’s Stanley Cup win last year. “My dad, he doesn't remember a lot of stuff these days. He remembers enough. But I tell you what, he's here tonight. I don't know where he's at, but this one will stick with him forever. You can guarantee that,” Oshie said after the win.


An April 28, 2019 The Advocate Alzheimer’s Q&A wondered if people with AD or other dementias are still able to read. Alzheimer’s affects everyone differently, however, typically people with moderate dementia can read, but this will decline with disease progression. Breakdowns in comprehension may begin in early-stage, and memory issues make it difficult to retain information in middle stage. According to the article, “Large-type reading materials can be used to assist later-stage Alzheimer’s patients to continue reading, though the ability to communicate verbally in the late stages usually declines significantly. They may hold a book or magazine upside down and look like they are intently reading, a practice that should be allowed and respected.”