Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
A March 23, 2018 Quartz article by Dr. Lisa Mosconi of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical draws a correlation between a large-scale study linking cancer to processed foods, and findings linking nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease. According to Mosconi, “For Alzheimer’s, as with cancer—but also as with other conditions like heart disease and diabetes—much of the risk is related to behavioral and lifestyle factors. The consensus among scientists is that over one third of all Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented by improving our lifestyle. This includes ameliorating cardiovascular fitness, keeping our brains intellectually stimulated, and perhaps most of all: eating better.”
A March 23, 2018 Financial Times article (subscription required) spotlighted the story of Douglas Banks, who was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), a rare type of Alzheimer’s disease. For now Banks, 58, is still working and says, “I will never retire.” Alzheimer’s Research UK estimates about 42,000 “working age” people under 65 (in the UK) have young-onset dementia. A mid-life diagnosis, before retirement, brings a distinct set of problems for people with dementia.
A March 22, 2018 WWNYTV broadcast segment focused on the prevalence of dementia among New Yorkers. More than 400,000 have Alzheimer's disease, and more than one million are unpaid caretakers. Their unpaid caregiving hours are valued at almost $15 billion.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
According to a March 21, 2018 Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis news release, the link between amyloid and tau has never been entirely clear. But a new study shows that people with more amyloid in their brains also produce more tau, which is responsible for the memory loss and confusion of Alzheimer’s disease. “Whether a person has symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or not, if there are amyloid plaques, there is increased production of this soluble tau,” said senior study author Randall Bateman, MD.“We knew that people who had plaques typically had elevated levels of soluble tau. What we didn’t know was why. This explains the why: The presence of amyloid increases the production of tau.” Also covered by News Medical Life Sciences.
A March 21, 2018 Endpoints News article reported that big biotech Celgene is working on new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease targeting tau. The company lined up options on three preclinical neurodegeneration drugs. According to lead neuroscientist Richard Hargreaves, “The programs we have chosen to collaborate on have the potential to provide foundational assets from which we can build new therapeutic approaches to these currently untreatable neurological disorders.”