October 5, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


Alzheimer's Daily News will take a short break for Columbus Day, and return on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.


An October 4, 2018 Vox article filed under ‘Only in America’ told the sad story of Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Leon Lederman, who was forced to sell his Nobel Prize to pay medical bills. He died recently in an Idaho nursing home, suffering from memory loss since 2011. The U.S. has relatively high health care prices, with a private room in a nursing facility on average $7,698 a month. 


An October 4, 2018 UPI Health News article reported that a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that exposure to periodontal bacteria may initiate Alzheimer's disease. According to Study Co-Author Dr. Keiko Watanabe, “We did not expect that the periodontal pathogen would have this much influence on the brain, or that the effects would so thoroughly resemble Alzheimer's disease… This is the first study to show that exposure to the periodontal bacteria results in the formation of senile plaques that accelerate the development of neuropathology found in Alzheimer's patients.” Also covered by EurekAlert! 


According to an October 3, 2018 HealthDay News article via UPI Health News, researchers found that breast cancer survivors carrying the APOE4 gene, who underwent chemotherapy, were more likely to experience long-term brain function impairment or “chemo brain.” "Our study suggests that, for most older breast cancer patients, chemotherapy and hormonal treatments do not have major adverse effects on cognitive function, at least as measured by our current tests," said lead researcher Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.


An October 3, 2018 NVIDIA Developer News Center article featured the work of researchers from Stanford University, who developed a deep learning based system to help doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. The AI system can automatically detect AD and its biomarkers from MRIs with 94 percent accuracy. According to the article, “Using NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs and the cuDNN-accelerated TensforFlow deep learning frameworks, the team trained a 3D-convolutional neural network on a dataset from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The neural network learned to interpret different regions of the brain and their association with the disease, including the biomarkers linked to Alzheimer’s disease.”

An October 1, 2018 Forbes Next Avenue article looked at technology trends specifically aimed at older adults. Contributing writer Francine Toder recently attended the Aging 2.0 tech conference, “Seniors Shaping Technology: Your Opinion Matters,” where seniors could have a genuine influence on their tech preferences and needs. “But the pleasant surprise was a voting station next to each vendor booth where attendees could show their interest or approval of a particular product or service… Several hundred attendees milled about asking questions, trying things out and making their opinions and observations known by placing sticky dots on easel-held charts arranged in four quadrants: Cool, Will Buy, Not Sure and More Info Needed.”


An October 3, 2018 KULR NBC 8 broadcast video featured eighth graders in Billings, Montana singing for Alzheimer’s disease awareness. Student Samantha McDonald’s grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. According to McDonald, “I think if you start with one little thing it can sprout into something big and you can move mountains. I hope that it spreads awareness for this disease and gets us one step closer to the cure.” 


Attend the “Alzheimer’s Disease: Voices from The Front Lines” panel on October 10, 2018, featuring stories from patients, caregivers, doctors, scientists and industry leaders. The panel conversation, focused on the challenges of developing new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, is part of Harvard Medical School Executive Education’s full-day forum, "The Future of Health, Wellness and Medicine." Register here