Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
An April 16, 2018 Forbes article spotlighted a new Consensus Statement and Research Framework, which requests that Alzheimer’s disease be put at the top of the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit Agenda. It outlines the urgent need to adopt Aging and Dementia as a Summit theme, and to launch a "Global Fund Against Dementia.” ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s (a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s), the University of Tokyo, and the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) jointly released the communique. According to UsA2’s Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg, “Japan has an especially good reason to care that the world works together on identifying treatments and a cure because of the demographic make-up of its population. But everyone should be committed to this disease… The global impact of Alzheimer’s gives us no choice but to act.”
Join our next Alzheimer's Talks on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2pm (EST) for a discussion with Karen Lincoln, PhD of the University of Southern California’s Dworak-Peck School of Social Work about her pioneering work exploring the effectiveness of different health education approaches on Alzheimer’s knowledge and attitudes. Dr. Lincoln launched a pilot study among African Americans last year called BrainWorks, the first of its kind to use daily texting to boost knowledge about Alzheimer’s and change attitudes about clinical trials.
An April 16, 2018 Daily Beast article focused on lessons learned from failed Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Negative results from one trial helps direct the next. According to Frank Longo from the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center, “It’s hard, but trials now are being designed in a much more effective way than they were five or 10 years ago that even if it’s unfortunate news, each trial is tending to teach us a lot and the progress is being made faster because of that and it’s giving many in the field confidence that we will have a drug that does work at some point.”
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
According to an Alzheimer’s News Today article, the hormone insulin, administered via a nasal spray, is being investigated as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in two clinical trials. Insulin is thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s, although it is not fully understood. It may be involved in clearing beta-amyloid from the brain.
An April 15, 2018 Pipe Dream article highlighted a stop at Binghamton University on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFOA) On Campus national college tour, for their “Raise Your Voice for Care” event. The focus was education, raising Alzheimer’s disease awareness and providing a safe space for students to share personal experiences. The AFOA's BU chapter is one of 2,600 national chapters. “Our club is committed to creating a support system on campus for students who have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. We are also here for the community,” said chapter President Katie Zwerger.
An April 16, 2018 Israel 21c article reported that Israeli researcher Prof. Eitan Okun from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan is developing an Alzheimer’s disease vaccine which primes the body to attack amyloid beta protein accumulations in the brain, one of the signature hallmarks of AD. He is preparing to design human trials for people in their 50s or younger at known risk for AD, including people with Down syndrome. According to Okun, “Depending on the success rate and side effects from [human] testing, we will be able to know how much more time is needed to make the vaccine available on a global scale. I am convinced that a vaccination approach is the way to go with neurodegenerative diseases.”
An April 16, 2018 The Courier article spotlighted the SAIDO learning method, which stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain and can reverse dementia symptoms such as apathy and depression, and improve quality of life and cognitive and physical functioning in older adults. A trained caregiver leads a series of simple exercises for 30 minutes, five times a week. “I’m not aware of any other treatment, any other program, any medication, that can take what this program does to the individual who has Alzheimer’s and provide improvement. There’s no other program out there that I’m aware of that identifies recordable, marked improvement with someone with dementia,” said Chris Widman of Good Shepherd Home, a nursing facility which offers the program to its residents.