November 27, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A November 26, 2018 Cities Speak guest post by Alzheimer’s advocate Maria Shriver looked to individual cities to create their own Alzheimer’s action plans. According to Shriver, “This Alzheimer’s crisis is real and it’s alive in every American city. That’s why the question before each of us is this: what will city leaders do to tackle this major challenge? Much like a city must respond to a hurricane, flood, or another natural disaster, the Alzheimer’s crisis requires a rapid-response plan of its own. We must work together to create cities that are conscious, caring, smartly designed, dementia-friendly, and well-prepared to support citizens as they age.”

According to a November 26, 2018 Medical News Today article, researchers found a link between HIV and Alzheimer’s disease. New research from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute showed that the same type of enzyme that enables HIV to infect cells recombines the APP gene to create thousands of new genetic variants in people with Alzheimer's. The APP gene encodes amyloid precursor protein, which is linked to the risk of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. According to the study authors, this new research warrants "immediate clinical evaluation of HIV antiretroviral therapies in people with Alzheimer's disease.” 


A November 26, 2018 Medscape commentary by Dr. Richard Isaacson, MD of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian spoke with actor and Alzheimer’s advocate Seth Rogan about AD prevention. According to Rogan, “We now have information [to suggest] that 30 years before any symptoms are showing is when you should be taking actions against hopefully ever getting those symptoms. It's just not a culturally prevalent conversation. People know that if they don't smoke cigarettes, they will be less likely to get lung cancer, but they don't know that if they live their life in this way, they will be less likely to get Alzheimer's. That is something that people should know.”


A November 25, 2018 Business Wire article reported that the final patient (totaling 186) was enrolled into a global Phase II clinical trial of Xanamem, for the treatment of mild Alzheimer’s disease. The study, dubbed “XanADu,” is the largest and most comprehensive international AD treatment trial run by an Australian biotech company, and will be completed in four months. They will report-out results during second quarter 2019.


A November 24, 2018 WLNY CBS New York broadcast segment featured the work of the town of Babylon, LI to become dementia-friendly. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is training staff at local senior centers, offered free memory screenings at the town hall, built a gazebo for people with dementia and their caregivers to relax, and will next train staff at retail stores. According to Babylon Town Clerk Gerry Compitello, “The caretaker needs to take care of themselves. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America does provide training for caretakers, and I think it’s more important to understand what you need to do and how you need to take care of yourself in order to be an effective caretaker.”


A November 26, 2018 JAMA Neurology On the Brain article by Renee Brown Harmon, MD chronicles her personal journey as her husband, Harvey, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Both physicians, sharing a practice, Harvey had complained of memory issues for years, but the problems came to a head on a family vacation. Renee struggled with reporting her own husband to their state’s medical board and figuring out if it was safe for him to continue practicing medicine.


The Kennedy Center in Trumbull, CT will host an educational community forum, “Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease: What the Future Holds,” on November 29, 2018. The event will feature informational tables and a keynote address by Dr. Gerard Kerins.