Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
A March 21, 2018 The Telegraph article focused on new analysis from Alzheimer’s Research UK modeling the impact of five hypothetical Alzheimer's treatments. Currently, 12 Alzheimer’s drugs are in late Phase III trials, and the report estimates that a vaccine could prevent around 70 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. According to Dr. David Reynolds of Alzheimer's Research UK, “It wouldn't be an overnight scenario where everybody at 50 had a treatment like this, but that is where we're going to, I hope, in the long term.” Also covered by The Scotsman and Financial Times (subscription required).
DEMENTIA AND THE ARTS
According to a March 20, 2018 The Washington Post article, Opera Philadelphia is presenting “Sky on Swings” in its 2018-19 season. The storyline features two women with Alzheimer’s disease, starring world renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, who had two aunts die from Alzheimer’s. According to librettist Hannah Moscovitch, “Is it terrible to admit I was scared? The story of Alzheimer’s is someone finds out they have Alzheimer’s and then they degenerate and die. So I was scared of how dark a story that is.” Also covered by ABC News and WHYY.
CLINICAL TRIAL SPOTLIGHT
A March 19, 2018 Medscape article (log-in required) looked to new research finding that the antipsychotic brexpiprazole is safe and effective at its highest dose for treating agitation in patients with Alzheimer's disease-related dementia. Drugmakers Otsuka and Lundbeck will initiate a third phase 3 study that will focus on the higher dose. According to co-investigator George T. Grossberg, MD of Saint Louis University, “In about a year we'll start having data. If and when that happens, this will be the first compound to receive FDA approval for agitation in absence of psychosis in Alzheimer’s.”
A March 19, 2018 Her Campus at Kutztown University post by Amandamae Baettcher chronicled her time in high school when her paternal grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, lived in the family house. Baettcher writes, “Equally as important is how Alzheimer’s will affect those around that afflicted person. The tension between my mother and father escalated immediately when she moved in and as soon as my grandmother moved out, it dissipated. I missed out on a lot of things in high school because I often came home to help my mom around the house because she had been with my grandmother all day. Essentially, there’s a lot of misguided and pent up frustration that gets thrown around the house and it’s not always pleasant.”
A March 19, 2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “my AJC” article spotlighted the “dementia ministry” at Due West United Methodist church. Two women caring for moms with Alzheimer’s started a support group that grew into dementia education events, workshops, caregiver support groups and an annual caregivers’ conference, serving 1,000+ families. The church formulated a toolkit and a how-to template for the family to help other churches start their own caregivers’ ministry.
A March 20, 2018 Global News video and article featured the “Minds in Motion” program in Manitoba, for people with dementia and their caregivers. The 8-week program is packed with activities that promote socialization and stimulate the brain through exercise, playing games and music. “We start with exercise, it pushes the blood around, increases endorphins, and gets them excited and laughing… Obviously there’s no cure for Alzheimers, but keeping that socialization, that simulation within a partnership in the community, gives them some confidence,” said program manager Kathy Diehl Cyr.