We now know early intervention could decrease the likelihood of more than one-third of dementia cases around the world. In fact, approximately 35% are attributed to nine modifiable risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, hearing loss, smoking, depression, social interaction and lack of physical exercise. Therefore, monitoring which foods we eat, starting or continuing basic cardio and strength training programs, engaging the mind in the cognitive challenges and managing vascular risk factors all play demonstrable, critical roles in maintaining cognition before disease strikes.
In line with previous studies, the researchers found that having one or more first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s put people at significantly higher risk for the disease. People with one first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s were 1.73 times more likely to develop the disease. Looking further into the family tree, people with two first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s were nearly four times more likely to develop the disease. Those with three first-degree relatives were nearly two-and-half more times likely, and those with four were almost 15 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
A newly described dementia strikes people in their last decades of life. The disease, aptly named LATE, comes with symptoms that resemble Alzheimer’s disease, but is thought to be caused by something completely different.
A team of researchers at the Human Computation Institute and Cornell University seek to understand what causes a 30% reduction of blood flow to the brain in Alzheimer’s patients.
Preliminary findings from the Schaffer-Nishimura Biomedical Engineering Lab suggest
that restoring blood flow to the brain could delay the onset of
Alzheimer’s and restore cognitive functioning. But there is too much
data to sift through, and the blood flow imagery is too subtle for most
algorithms to classify into capillaries that are either flowing or
stalled. So instead, citizen scientists are helping analyze the videos
in a gamified effort called “Stall Catchers” — and, through this crowdsourcing effort, are doing so at a much faster rate than the lab.
In 2016, to the surprise of Alzheimer’s disease researchers across the world, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that setting mice in front of a blinking light could clear out the characteristic protein plaques thought to be one of the roots of the disease. A recent follow up study found that sounds played at a particular frequency clearned plaques and improved cognition, as well.
Let’s start with a hard truth: While certain FDA-approved drugs can treat the symptoms, no cures or treatments have been shown to stop, slow or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The FDA is clamping down on the makers of dozens of products, often labelled as dietary supplements, that claim otherwise. What those companies are selling, says the administration, is false hope.
Studies by National Journal of Physiology Pharmacy and Pharmacology and International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology have shown a positive association between virgin coconut oil consumption and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have shown positive improvements in cognition, cognitive performance, orientation and semantic memory in individuals after intervention with virgin coconut oil.
“We have reason to believe that not only can it reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s, but possibly prevent the effects from occurring in the beginning,” Dr Hatchuel said. “It has the potential to change the lives of 50 million people across the world, which is absolutely ground breaking.”
A new study shows that the part of your brain responsible for ASMR ( Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response ) doesn’t get lost to Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s tends to put people into layers of confusion, and the study confirms that music can sometimes actually lift people out of the Alzheimer’s haze and bring them back to (at least a semblance of) normality… if only for a short while.
The companies developing aducanumab, Biogen and its partner Eisai, announced that they halted two late-stage trials of the experimental drug after an independent group’s analysis showed that the trials were unlikely to “meet their primary endpoint.”
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech giant joins a long list of companies in the last decade that have failed to find a treatment for Alzheimer’s.