November 2, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A November 2, 2018 Forbes article took issue with President Trump’s use of the term “demented” to describe terrorists and mass murderers, most recently Robert Bowers, who gunned down 11 people in Pittsburgh last weekend. According to the article, “It frustrates our National Alzheimer’s Plan’s strategy to maintain the dignity of persons with Alzheimer’s disease. It is insulting to people like Justice O’Connor, Glenn Campbell, Coach Pat Summitt, and others who have spoken up and out about their diagnosis. It is also repeating a factually inaccurate belief that persons with dementia are inherently “irrational,” even criminal in their behavior.”

According to a November 1, 2018 Medical Xpress article, a new study from Mount Sinai found that anti-diabetes medications have a protective effect on the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Given diabetes drugs, they showed fewer AD markers, including abnormal microvasculature and disregulated gene expressions, which means that targeting the brain's capillary system could have beneficial effects. “Most modern Alzheimer's treatments target amyloid plaques and haven't succeeded in effectively treating the disease. Insulin and diabetes medications such as metformin are FDA approved and safely administered to millions of people and appear to have a beneficial effect on people with Alzheimer’s,” said senior study author Dr. Vahram Haroutunian PhD. Also covered by Health DayiNews, and others


A November 1, 2018 Loma Linda University Health News article spotlighted the work of Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai of the Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. They are encouraging protective lifestyle factors to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s disease, stressing healthy eating, regular exercise, restful sleep and mind-challenging activities. According to the article, “Your genes don’t determine your destiny — they merely give researchers a range of when a disease manifests. Identifying an individual’s specific risks can shed light on how to change one’s health trajectory.”


A November 1, 2018 Being Patient “Brain Talks” video segment looked at common questions about the link between diet and Alzheimer’s disease. UCSF biochemist and nutrition researcher Dr. Ed Blonz talked with Deborah Kan.


A November 1, 2018 Medical Xpress article examined the concept of “cognitive reserve” as it relates to the importance of lifelong learning. Stimulating cognitive reserve is at the heart of courses offered for seniors at Ryerson University in Toronto. According to the article, “Socrates spoke of an idea called "eudaimonia," which means "flourishing in life." Too much pleasure and we wilt. Too much purpose and we stress out. But when pleasure and purpose are both high, we achieve this "eudaimonia" state, according to Deborah Fels, one of Canada's leading experts in aging and accessibility.”


An October 31, 2018 KOLO TV ABC 8 broadcast segment featured a technology program in use at Arbors Memory Care Community which provides cognitive stimulation, and health and wellness programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The IN2L (It's Never 2 Late) platform can be tailored for each user’s preferences. According to Life Enhancement Director Viki Lowrey, “It can be individualized so that if Jane was from Oklahoma, we can take them all the way to Oklahoma. Or if Jeff likes to play certain games, it makes it very individualized.”


An October 31, 2018 NPR Public Health article re-ran a commentary by Josh Eibelman spotlighting the issue of language barriers disqualifying people with Alzheimer’s disease from participating in clinical trials, even though volunteers are desperately needed. Eibelman’s grandmother, who has AD, cannot participate because she does not speak English. This is particularly problematic for Spanish speakers. LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Lead Jason Resendez weighs in, “We know Latinos will make up a bigger and bigger share of the community living with Alzheimer’s in the future. And we know that we don’t have the workforce pipeline in place to accurately diagnose and enroll these folks into cutting edge research.”