August 01, 2016

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A July 30, 2016 article highlighted the shortage of gerontologists and geriatricians. According to the article, “Few physicians are trained in geriatrics and even fewer as Alzheimer’s doctors. Older adults with cognitive complaints are typically consigned to a hasty diagnosis and even when they receive a diagnosis, they find minimal guidance on how to live with the disease. Many patients don’t even receive a diagnosis. They come to my memory center taking the mildly effective Alzheimer’s drugs and asking whether they have Alzheimer’s, or it is dementia, or just aging, and what’s the difference between them? Their experiences kindle fear and even suspicion about the health care system, feelings reinforced when they go out into the world and experience their autonomy under siege. Assessments of their capacity to make life’s important decisions are reduced to a single score on a simple test of cognition. And the system expects them to pay the majority of the costs of their care.”

A July 29, 2016 article highlighted the Clinton campaign's commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s. According to the article, “One of the panelists, Clinton’s Senior Adviser on Health Ann O’Leary, told me that since formally launching her campaign, the Democratic nominee has been determined to make finding a cure for Alzheimer’s “one of the biggest issues” of her presidential run. “In some sense, Alzheimer’s is her moonshot proposal,” said O’Leary, the founding executive director of Berkeley law school’s Center on Health, Economic and Family Security program.”

A July 29, 2016 MedPage Today article captured the reactions of of neuroscience experts to data released at the 2016 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference related to a tau protein drug. According to Lary C. Walker, PhD, associate professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, “The results are somewhat disappointing, but not necessarily surprising. Certainly the apparent positive outcome of LMTM monotherapy will need to be replicated in a larger group of subjects. As we learn more about the natural history of Alzheimer's disease, it has become clear that tau aggregation (like Abeta aggregation) is well-advanced in the brain by the time the signs of dementia set in. Hence, it may be that a therapy targeting tau must be administered much earlier in the pathogenic process to be effective.”

A July 28, 2016 article reported on the “results of the first completed large trial of an anti-tau medication in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.” According to the article, “The drug, called LMTM, failed to show a benefit in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers reported on the final day of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Toronto…In published laboratory and mouse studies, LMTM had stopped tau from bunching together to form tangles, but whether that would occur in patients and result in a slowing of the progression of Alzheimer’s wasn’t known.”