Today’s Top Alzheimer’s News
A May 15, 2018 CISION PR Newswire release announced two new appointees to the Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP) Foundation Board. Dr. Neil Buckholtz of the NIA and Michael J. Glosserman of The JBGSmith REIT, join UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder George Vradenburg and GAP’s President John Dwyer. GAP is a patient-centric organization dedicated to speeding the delivery of innovative medicines to those in need by reducing the time and cost of Alzheimer's disease clinical trials. GAP is a partner of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.
A May 14, 2018 U.S. News commentary by Andre Machado, MD and Serpil Erzurum, MD voiced their fears that scientific research on neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease is falling behind the needs of the public. According to the authors, “The aging of America – and the world, for that matter – makes neurodegenerative disorders a health crisis with little hope of reversal. The business world understands, and we're seeing vast numbers of assistive living and nursing homes rising in every country. They will primarily house all types of dementia sufferers. But they won't be effectively treated unless we invest heavily – very heavily – in research so that we can offer our loved ones better odds.”
A May 14, 2018 CBS Pittsburgh broadcast segment and article featured a research team at Gladstone in San Francisco who are changing skin cells from Alzheimer’s patients to special stem cells, which are then changed into human brain cells. They are studying how ApoE4, a major Alzheimer’s disease hallmark, damages the brain by utilizing a drug which corrected the deformed protein structure and erased its toxic effects.
RESEARCH AND SCIENCE
A May 15, 2018 News Medical Life Sciences article spotlighted a study from Drexel University where researchers reversed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in fruit flies by restoring the balance between two epigenetic enzymes that regulate gene expression. When the HDAC2 enzyme overwhelms the Tip60 HAT enzyme, it causes problems with neuroplasticity. According to Felice Elefant, PhD, “Many researchers that study Alzheimer's disease utilize human post-mortem samples, and thus, they are not looking at what is happening during the early progression of neurodegeneration, including whether we can correct what is happening during these early stages.”
A May 12, 2018 The New York Times article looked at aging drivers in Japan, which has the world’s oldest population, who are causing ever increasing numbers of fatal accidents. Since 2009, drivers over 75 must take cognitive functioning tests when renewing their license. If they have dementia, their license can be revoked. According to Masabumi Tokoro of Rissho University in Tokyo, “A lot of drivers in their late 70s or 80s need to drive to conduct their daily lives. It’s very difficult for them to give up their driver’s licenses. This is becoming a social problem, especially in rural areas.”
A May 13, 2018 The Eagle-Tribune Q&A focused on how to handle repetitive questions from someone with Alzheimer’s disease. The article advises, “Beyond the physiological explanation for the behavior, emotions can also influence what is occurring. The person with dementia may be struggling with anxiety, fear, stress or frustration. Professionals working with this population encourage caregivers to "respond to the emotions rather than the words." It won't always be clear but it is helpful to determine what is triggering a specific repetitive behavior.”
EVENTS AND RESOURCES
The Cos Cob Library is hosting “The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s,” providing information on detection, causes and risk factors, disease stages and treatment. Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 10:30-11:30am, in the Community Room.