November 1, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


(ICYMI) An October 28, 2019 Milken Institute news release highlighted a new Milken report, “Reducing the Cost and Risk of Dementia: Recommendations to Improve Brain Health and Decrease Disparities,” in collaboration with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, AARP and Bank of America, just released at this week’s 2019 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit in Washington, D.C. The report highlights the disproportionate affect of dementia on women, and contains detailed recommendations and goals for communities to improve brain health, reduce disparities and overcome dementia. “Brain health broadens the fight against Alzheimer's to include everyone and is the key to defeating stigma, increasing early detection, speeding up research -- and ending this disease. This new look by the Milken Institute offers important recommendations and actions to help move us to an optimal system of brain health care in this country,” said UsA2 Founding Board member Jill Lesser.


An October 28, 2019 Being Patient article looked at hormone replacement therapy as a potential treatment to protect women’s brain health. A new study from the North American Menopause Society found that women who experienced heightened lifetime estrogen exposure showed higher cognitive function as older adults, and hormone therapy showed benefits for the oldest study participants. “Estrogen has also been looked at in terms of its ability to counter some of the bad effects of Alzheimer’s disease or things that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Estrogen can be an antagonist to things like amyloid or tau. It could also potentially prevent the activation of microglia, which is linked to inflammation,” said Dr. Jessica Caldwell of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.


In an October 31, 2019 NPR All Things Considered radio segment, Jon Hamilton spoke with Laura Lewis of Boston University about the link between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. “It's been known for a long time that sleep is really important for brain health, but why it is was more mysterious… we discovered that during sleep, there are these really large, slow waves occurring maybe once every 20 seconds of CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] washing into the brain. Before each wave of fluid, we would actually see a wave of electrical activity in the neurons… It's already known that people with Alzheimer's disease have less of these electrophysiological slow waves, so they have smaller and fewer slow waves,” Lewis said.


A November 1, 2019 Go Local Prov Live broadcast segment spoke with Dr. Stephen Salloway of Brown University, who worked on clinical research and development of aducanumab. The drug is being considered for FDA-approval for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease, as per Biogen’s surprise announcement last week. “This is the comeback of the year… This would be the first drug approved for Alzheimer’s in 16 years and the first drug to actually target the key elements of the disease, actually removing the amyloid plaques that build-up in the brain and hopefully slowing down memory loss. So this is a major development,” said Salloway.

An October 31, 2019 WCNC broadcast segment featured journalist, author and Alzheimer’s advocate, Maria Shriver, who was in Charlotte (NC) raising awareness about women’s brain health. Shriver’s advocacy is personal, beginning with her dad’s battle with AD. “My dad had Alzheimer's, he died of Alzheimer's, and in that journey with him, I came to realize women were disproportionately impacted and no one was talking about it… I think I struggled to find my footing with her and after my dad died, after my marriage ended, and now I feel like I like who I am, proud of what I’ve been through, and that I’m standing."