Today's Top Alzheimer's News

USA2 SPOTLIGHT 

A May 25, 2016 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s press release announced that Karen Segal, who founded the North Shore Medical Research Junior Board for Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago in 1995, will be joining its board of directors. According to the Segal, “I am attracted by the collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit of the entire UsAgainstAlzheimer’s organization. As there is no treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease at this time, we need to focus on studying family members of patients and tracking the changes at the earliest stages. I am encouraged that by leveraging the determination of the board and UsA2 staff already committed to this cause, we can push for greater urgency to defeat this devastating disease.”

A May 25, 2016 Connected Living press release announced that UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will be part of the launch of its national campaign “Connect One Million Seniors.” According to UsA2 chairman George Vradenburg, “The Connected Living mobile app is a terrific tool to keep families in touch and intact. It has the potential to make a positive impact on the 5 million individuals, and their families, living with Alzheimer's disease today. By 2025 the number of people 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will escalate to an estimated 7.1 million with nearly 80% of those people living in their own home.”

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A May 25, 2016 The New York Times article reported on new research connecting Alzheimer’s to infections in the brain. According to the article, “The Harvard researchers report a scenario seemingly out of science fiction. A virus, fungus or bacterium gets into the brain, passing through a membrane — the blood-brain barrier — that becomes leaky as people age. The brain’s defense system rushes in to stop the invader by making a sticky cage out of proteins, called beta amyloid. The microbe, like a fly in a spider web, becomes trapped in the cage and dies. What is left behind is the cage — a plaque that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. So far, the group has confirmed this hypothesis in neurons growing in petri dishes as well as in yeast, roundworms, fruit flies and mice. There is much more work to be done to determine if a similar sequence happens in humans, but plans — and funding — are in place to start those studies, involving a multicenter project that will examine human brains.”

A May 25, 2016 The Fiscal Times opinion piece by Michael Hodin urged for health officials and policymakers to add Alzheimer’s to the list of global pandemics. According to the article, “This notion – the worldwide spread of a disease – is exactly what is happening now with Alzheimer’s, as the number of cases will triple from 47 million today to 135 million by mid-century. Moreover, it is a myth that Alzheimer’s is a first-world problem -- the next few decades will see the sharpest increases of the disease in the developing and poorest countries. Given this “worldwide spread” of Alzheimer’s, a better definition of pandemic in the 21st century would be: the worldwide spread of a new disease, either by infection or from age-related causes.” Michael Hodin is the executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging.

A May 25, 2016 Forbes.com article explored the role of genetics in the development of neurological disorders. According to the article, “In the case of neurological diseases, however, the genetic discoveries have been much slower to emerge. That has not only made drug development challenging, it has also raised questions for people who are thinking about having their genetic risk assessed for neurological diseases they may have seen in family members. For example, one of the biggest discoveries in genetics over the last decade is a gene variant, or “allele,” called APOE4. People who inherit one copy of the allele have been shown to face a somewhat elevated risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease late in life, while those with two copies have a tenfold risk of the disorder.”

 

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