April 17, 2017

Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News


Sign Up for Alzheimer's Talks on Friday, April 28, 4-5:00pm (EST). Our guest will be Greg O’Brien, author of “On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s.” Ever since he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2009, Greg has been sharing stories of his daily fight with Alzheimer’s and giving voice to the millions of Americans who live with this cruel disease.


[Subscription required] An April 16, 2017 The Wall Street Journal letter to the editor, by Dr. Robert Hedaya, called on researchers to embrace Alzheimer’s prevention. According to Dr. Hedaya, “The basic science and new clinical research by Dale Bredesen show that Alzheimer’s is a disorder that develops over decades as a result of inflammation and infection, disturbances of glucose regulation, loss of trophic supports such as key nutrients and hormones, accumulation of toxic substances and brain trauma. Alzheimer’s can be prevented and mild cognitive impairment can be reversed by addressing these factors in at-risk individuals. Science has moved past the “one-pill-for-every-ill” approach.” 

An April 15, 2017 Boston Globe Magazine article pulled an excerpt from a new book by Senator Elizabeth Warren, “This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.” A man with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease visited her office and brought the senator to tears with his story, imploring of her, “I’m here to ask you to fight for more funding for research on Alzheimer’s. Please. I’m going to forget, so I need you to remember.” According to Warren, “Alzheimer’s disease offers the perfect example of how foolish it is to shortchange investments in research. I get worked up over this. But the way I figure it, we should all be worked up.”


According to an April 14, 2017 The Seattle Times article, Seattle-based M3 Biotechnology raised $12 million to start clinical trials for a drug seeking to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug treats symptoms and modifies the disease to stop, and hopefully reverse, the effects by activating a switch in the brain to regrow neurons. Its Phase I clinical trial will begin in the third quarter of the year. 


An April 14, 2017 AlzForum post highlighted the current crop of tau PET tracers, which are yielding new insights into the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. At the 13th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases (March 29-April 2 in Vienna), researchers debuted new tracers that boast higher brain uptake and more specific binding, yielding cleaner-looking scans with sharper distinction between positive and negative findings. 


An April 14, 2017 MinnPost article highlighted the lab of Professor Carol Lange at the University of Minnesota, who is no longer hiring graduate students for research jobs because of the proposed NIH budget cuts. More than 80% of the NIH budget goes toward research grants, and Minnesota researchers worry that could mean fewer pathways into science careers for students and less cutting-edge research that helps drive the state’s economy.