September 08, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


Join our Alzheimer's Talks TODAY from 4-5pm (EST) for a fascinating discussion with a panel of current and former research volunteers from different cultures, communities, and clinical trials. In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Disparities Engagement Network (ADDEN), the talk will provide the audience with insights into the motivations, barriers, and facilitators of Alzheimer’s research participation among diverse communities. Dr. Goldie Byrd, Director, Center for Outreach in Alzheimer's Aging and Community Health at North Carolina A&T State University and Project Lead of ADDEN, will moderate this call and we will also have time for your questions.

(ICYMI) A September 7, 2017 Business Wire post of a UsA2 release highlights the Alzheimer’s XPRIZE competition. “The call to discover breakthrough new technologies for brain health is intended to activate interest from a broad spectrum of expert and lay innovators worldwide—from fields as wide-ranging as artificial intelligence, bio-technology, precision pharmaceuticals, physics, video games and brain hacking—to focus their talents and ingenuity on detecting the earliest moments of Alzheimer’s. “


A September 8, 2017 Financial Times article (behind paywall) reported that “Online computer gaming is beginning to produce results for research into Alzheimer’s disease, as players compete to analyse movies of blood flow in the brain.” According to the article, “In recent months, several thousand gamers have been analysing moving images, obtained by fluorescence microscopy, of Alzheimer’s mouse brains. About 40,000 movies have been analysed so far… In a surprise to researchers, the first results show that stalls are not more prevalent near the plaques of amyloid protein, which is associated with Alzheimer’s.

A September 8, 2017 Harvard Health Publications article looked to research showing that a good night’s sleep may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Findings show an association between poor sleep and a higher risk of accumulating beta-amyloid protein plaque in the brain. According to Dr. Brad Dickerson of Harvard Medical School, “Observational studies have found that adults over age 65 with amyloid plaques in their brain have reduced slow-wave sleep, which is thought to play an important role in memory function, even though these people do not yet show signs of Alzheimer’s, like memory loss and cognitive decline. It may be that quality sleep could play a role in who may get Alzheimer’s.”

According to a September 7, 2017 Forbes article, Joe Jimenez announced the departure of his role as Novartis’ Chief Executive earlier this week. Jimenez sees an opportunity to bridge the gap between technology and a broken healthcare system. “The thing that needs to be fixed is the inefficiency in the U.S. healthcare system. This is a system that is going to implode based on the burden of disease, for instance, Alzheimer’s disease.”

A September 7, 2017 Fox Business article reported on a partnership between drugmaker Allergan and a startup called Lyndra. The goal is the development of a once-weekly drug to fight Alzheimer’s disease. According to Lyndra CEO Amy Schulman, “Our ultra-long acting sustained release technology is built on the premise that a once-weekly oral pill will make a real difference in disease treatment and prevention.”


A September 8, 2017 PHYS article highlighted work from German and Dutch researchers determining the structure of an amyloid fibril, the main constituent of brain protein deposits associated with Alzheimer’s, with atomic-level three-dimensional structure, a previously unachieved resolution. According to the findings, “The structure reveals how the many single Aβ protein molecules are staggered in layers on top of each other and are arranged into so-called protofilaments. Two of these protofilaments are twinned around each other to form a fibril. If several of these fibrils become entangled, they give rise to the characteristic deposits or plaques that are detected in the brain tissues of Alzheimer's patients.”


A September 8, 2017 SYS-CON Media release spotlighted an Xtalks webinar on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 11am (EST), with industry expert William A Holt, DO, Executive Director of Scientific Affairs for Neurosciences at PRA Health Sciences to discuss tactics for successful patient recruitment in Alzheimer's Clinical Studies.