November 22, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A November 22, 2019 Technology Networks article explored the effects of air pollution on cognition. A new study from the Keck School of Medicine at USC looked at whether or not fine particle pollution (PM2.5 particles) exposure alters brain structure and accelerates memory decline. Previous research suggested increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. According to the article, “…Researchers could see the association between higher pollution exposure, brain changes and memory problems — even after adjusting to take into account differences in income, education, race, geographic region, cigarette smoking and other factors. “This study provides another piece of the Alzheimer’s disease puzzle by identifying some of the brain changes linking air pollution and memory declines…” [Assistant Neurology Professor Andrew] Petkus said.”


A November 21, 2019 STAT article spotlighted Biogen’s Chief Medical Officer and R&D lead Dr. Al Sandrock's thoughts about aducanumab. Sandrock believes the drug works and looks forward to the FDA review process. Eagerly awaited details from Biogen’s new data analysis will be shared publicly at CTAD in December. According to the article, “What was expected to be a somewhat sleepy Alzheimer’s research meeting is now a red-hot ticket. “I don’t think the field has ever seen data like this,” said Sandrock, sounding very much like a man who wants to prove Biogen’s critics wrong.”


A November 20, 2019 New Atlas article highlighted a new University of Birmingham study exploring the link between inflammation and cognition. By administering low-grade inflammation to test subjects, researchers evaluated visual attention processes including alerting, orientating and executive control. “…These novel findings suggest that acute inflammation requires individuals to exert greater cognitive effort when preparing for a task in order to maintain adequate behavioral performance,” wrote the researchers.


In a November 21, 2019 The Problem podcast, “Alzheimer’s in Our Communities: Fitness, Friends, and Policy,” Host Phil Lofton explored how cities and communities can be structured to be more helpful and safe for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Changing streets and construction can be especially confusing and unsafe. According to NiCole Keith of Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences, “It really depends on the level of cognitive impairment. There are some older adults who just should not be out without a caregiver. But I said “without a caregiver” because it’s important for everyone, regardless of cognitive status to be physically active.”


A November 20, 2019 WALB 10 News broadcast segment spotlighted the groundbreaking of the new Alzheimer’s Outreach Center in downtown Albany, NY. The center is dedicated to Margaret Jo Hogg, a First United church member who has Alzheimer’s disease. It provides a place for caregivers to bring their loved ones so they can take some respite time for themselves.