October 10, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


An October 10, 2019 Orlando Sentinel commentary, by surgeons general Drs. Richard Carmona, Joycelyn Elders, Antonia Novello and David Satcher, labeled Alzheimer’s disease an unprecedented, tragic, societal crisis, and highlighted its disproportionate impact on communities of color. According to the commentary, “A recent Lancet Commission study noted, remarkably, that “around 35% of dementia is attributable to a combination of the following nine risk factors: education to a maximum age of 11-12 years, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, hearing loss, late-life depression, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, and social isolation.” A recent paper, from UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the Brain Health Partnership, outlines immediate steps to create a culture of brain health. Satcher is a UsA2 Board member.


An October 9, 2019 NBC News article looked at ways to adjust cognitive memory tests to catch Alzheimer’s disease earlier in women. A recent study finds that although women are more likely to develop AD, men are diagnosed earlier. According to lead study author Erin Sundermann of the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, “The female advantage in verbal memory may actually put women at a disadvantage when it comes to diagnosing Alzheimer’s at an early stage. If we just adjust the criteria to be sex specific to account for this female advantage, our results suggest it would improve diagnostic accuracy in both women and men.” Also covered by Medpage Today.  


An October 8, 2019 Alzforum article highlighted the discovery of a new form of RNA, circular RNA (circRNA), which may be involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Circular RNAs are present in postmortem brains of people who died with late-onset Alzheimer’s. According to the article, “Some of these circRNAs were co-expressed with AD genes, or contained binding sites for microRNAs known to regulate such genes, hinting at functional roles in the disease. Chemically stable and released into cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, these circRNAs could be markers of early disease, the researchers claim.” “It’s very exciting to see that expression of circRNAs are altered in Alzheimer’s disease. This is a step forward. Maybe we can use circRNAs to track disease even before there are symptoms,” said Sebastian Kadener at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

According to an October 8, 2019 Medical Xpress article, the FDA-approved oral anticoagulant dabigatran delays Alzheimer's disease in mice. After one year on the drug, the mice experienced reduced AD symptoms, and no loss of memory or cerebral circulation. “This discovery marks an important advance toward the translation of our results to clinical practice to achieve an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease,” said Dr. Marta Cortés Canteli of Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares. Also covered by Being Patient


Come out and join the NIA Director’s Regional Meeting on Aging Research at the University of Southern Maine (Portland). November 7, 2019. The meeting will consist of presentations, one-on-one discussions, and answers to questions about funding opportunities, the future and recent scientific progress.


Alzheimer's Dailies will take a short break on Friday, October 11, 2019 and return on Monday, October 14, 2019.