Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
A May 9, 2018 Science Alert article focused on the role of brain cholesterol in Alzheimer’s disease. New evidence reveals that cholesterol speeds up the aggregation of amyloid beta by a factor of 20, showing for the first time how cholesterol molecules can act as a catalyst in causing the protein to cluster into plaques. A quarter of the cholesterol in our bodies is found in the brain. Also covered by Medical Express and New Atlas.
A May 8, 2018 Ocala article spotlighted “The Great Americans Alzheimer’s Awareness Photo Exhibit” at the Dunnellon Public Library. It features portraits of 24 American artists, musicians, athletes, actors, politicians and authors who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Visitors can post their own photos of loved ones who had dementia.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
According to a May 8, 2018 Medical Xpress article, scientists have long known about the link between increased iron levels in the brain and Alzheimer's disease. Utilizing an MRI scanner, researchers have now identified and can distinguish between specific iron forms that are increased in people with AD.
A May 9, 2018 Cosmos Magazine article looked to a dietary supplement that could prevent the worsening of Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies show that Fortasyn Connect, a cocktail of omega 3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, improves communication between brain cells, blood flow, regeneration of cells in the hippocampus and cognitive function. Human trials showed less shrinkage of the hippocampus, but further testing is required to determine whether or not it will have a significant effect in people with mild AD.
CLINICAL TRIAL SPOTLIGHT
A May 8, 2018 Fox 61 broadcast segment and article spotlighted the clinical trial for Aducanumab at the Boston Center for Memory, which is now advancing to Phase 3. The drug removes amyloid, which is found in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Patients receiving the highest dosage had virtually no amyloids left when scanned one year after the initial trial ended. According to Dr. Paul Solomon, "It was the first time that we had seen a combination of all of these things: that's removing pathology effectively combined with changes in cognition, memory, language and also changes in day-to-day functioning.”
PROFILES IN COURAGE
A Being Patient Voices post by author and Alzheimer’s advocate Gary Joseph LeBlanc, who is a former caregiver for both of his parents with dementia, relates his experiences taking his parents to the hospital. He shares hard-won advice with other caregivers. “Caregivers should also make sure that doctors are not over-medicating their loved ones. Often, doctors do not know how to handle behaviors and the first thing they do is restrain or medicate them, but communication skills are vital. People with Lewy body dementia are extremely sensitive to medications, so medication can do more harm than good. Because of the strange smells, new faces and chaos that often takes place in hospitals, a hospital stay can do a lot of damage.”