September 5, 2019

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A September 5, 2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer article announced that neuroscientist Virginia Man-Yee Lee will receive a $3 million Breakthrough Prize for her continuing work on Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. According to the article, “In more than 30 years, she has made major discoveries about nearly every disease that is marked by abnormal, “misfolded” proteins in the brain: the chemistry of how they behave, where they are located, and what causes them to form. In 2006, for example, she showed that two of these diseases — frontotemporal dementia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) — were characterized by clumps of the same type of protein.”

According to a September 4, 2019 Newsweek article, a new psychedelic research center will open at Johns Hopkins Medicine looking primarily at psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” to treat Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. Research has shown promising therapeutic benefits in treating nicotine addiction, and mitigating anxiety and depression associated with high mortality diseases. "Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential," said medical faculty dean Paul B. Rothman, MD.


A September 3, 2019 University of Wisconsin-Madison News articlespotlighted a pilot study from their School of Pharmacy which found that both dementia patients and caregivers experienced elevated moods when given tablets loaded with photos, music and streaming video. According to the article, “During 2017 and 2018, Generation Connect staff trained caregivers to develop personalized tablet sessions and asked them to rate their care recipients’ moods before and after using the tablet over more than 1,000 sessions… The vast majority of care recipients ended the sessions in a positive mood. Music and YouTube were the apps most strongly associated with improving or maintaining positive moods.” Also covered by Medical Xpress.


In a September 4, 2019 Being Patient Brain Talks video, Founder Deborah Kan spoke with Dr. Dale Bredesen about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, future treatments and prevention. According to Bredesen, “…There are actually subtypes of Alzheimer’s. We see some people in which the predominant cause or contributor is inflammation. Then you have to find out from what? Oral bacteria, chronic viral infections and various molds or fungi may cause this. It may be from a poor American diet. All of these things are associated with chronic inflammation. You can literally trace the molecular pathways when you activate inflammation.”


A September 4, 2019 Sun Journal article focused on a recent panel at the Lewiston Public Library about the growing impact of Alzheimer’s disease in Maine, where experts discussed a variety of issues, including the financial realities of rising care costs. According to the article, “U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, said finding a cure “is all about the investment in places” such as Jackson Lab, which is laying the groundwork for understanding the disease. He said Maine legislators are determined to make sure research funding is consistent and plentiful, no matter how long it takes to find a cure.”