Today's Top Alzheimer's News

The importance of early Alzheimer's diagnosis, Eli Lilly wins UK patent lawsuit against J&J over Alzheimer's drug, and robotic animals put to use as dementia caregivers (read more).   

Must reads

  • A June 25, 2013 Sacramento Bee (CA) article highlighted the impact of early-onset Alzheimer's and the importance of early diagnosis. According to the article, "For people with the degenerative brain disease, delays in diagnosis can exact a steep cost. Without timely diagnosis, people with Alzheimer's lose valuable months when medications can most effectively slow their memory loss. The delay in diagnosis robs families of the chance to enjoy their time together and make financial and legal plans for the future."
  • A June 25, 2013 article reported that "Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) won a U.K. patent lawsuit against a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) unit over a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease." According to the article, "A patent held by J&J’s Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development unit isn’t valid, Judge Richard Arnold said in a ruling in London today. Both companies are developing treatments targeting the build-up of plaque in patients’ brains that’s linked to the condition."

 Research and science 

  • A June 25, 2013 article reported that "Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have demonstrated that a protein called caspase-2 is a key regulator of a signaling pathway that leads to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease." According to the article, "The findings, made in a mouse model of Alzheimer's, suggest that inhibiting this protein could prevent the neuronal damage and subsequent cognitive decline associated with the disease. The study was published this month in the online journal Nature Communications."
  • A June 25, 2013 article reported on the use of robotic animal campions to provide therapeutic assistance to dementia sufferers. According to the article, "Scientists at England’s Northumbria University introduced several people with mid- to late-stage dementia to PARO, an interactive animatronic harp seal. PARO respond to touch and sound, responds to its owner’s voice, and can give emotional responses. An overview of the study was published yesterday by the university’s press office. PARO’s cuteness wasn’t factored in, but in total, the robot positively influenced the behavior of patients in an Australian nursing home — even more so than traditional techniques such as reading groups. The patients that participated in the study showed improved mental health with less anxiety and depression, and were found to have less of a tendency to “wander.” PARO created a better quality of life."


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