Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
An April 9, 2018 The Hill opinion piece by former Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) called-out strong bipartisanship as the key to defeating Alzheimer’s disease. “Tucked into the recently passed spending bill was an increase in spending for Alzheimer’s disease research and care that demonstrated something that has recently become rare in American politics: a showing of bipartisanship.”
According to an April 8, 2018 Concord Monitor article, (in 2006) one-third of people with younger-onset Alzheimer’s said it took them from one to six years to receive an accurate diagnosis, and as many as 50 percent of people with AD never receive a diagnosis. According to the article, “Because of the delay in diagnosis, it’s not uncommon for patients with early dementia to get fired, or move from job to job. Most patients displaying symptoms are not aware of it at the time, and it can be discouraging and frustrating.”
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
An April 9, 2018 Medical Xpress article focused on a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DZNE which finds that the use of anti-epileptic drugs is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It is specifically associated with high doses of drugs that impair cognitive function. According to senior researcher Heidi Taipale, "More research should be conducted into the long-term cognitive effects of these drugs, especially among older people.” Also covered by Science Daily.
An April 9, 2018 Medical News Today article spotlighted a new blood test using immuno-infrared sensor technology that can detect Alzheimer's disease long before symptoms appear, in early/prodromal stages. According to the article, “This initial phase of the study yielded encouraging results; in individuals who showed subtle, early symptoms of Alzheimer's, the test detected changes in levels of amyloid-beta that correlated with abnormal deposits visualized using brain scans.”
An April 9, 2018 Science Daily article highlighted a new study from the Gladstone Institutes which reveals how apoE4 confers its risk for Alzheimer's disease in human brain cells. Researchers were able to erase damage by changing it into a harmless apoE3-like version. According to lead author Yadong Huang, MD, PhD, “Many drugs work beautifully in a mouse model, but so far they've all failed in clinical trials. One concern within the field has been how poorly these mouse models really mimic human disease." The scientists created neurons from skin cells donated by AD patients with two copies of apoE4.
An April 3, 2018 MedPage Today article spotlighted the idea that subclinical amyloid levels may represent the earliest detectable indication of Alzheimer’s disease pathology with cognitive consequences. According to a study looking at cognitively normal people participating in ADNI (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative), "There is an increasing emphasis on earlier-stage amyloid-targeted clinical trials and, ideally, on pre-symptomatic trials. However, it is difficult to identify pre-symptomatic individuals other than those with inherited forms of Alzheimer's disease, which constitute only about 1% of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s.”