With two of the last drug-makers abandoning their late stage trials, the familiar question comes up again: Why would you want to know if you have Alzheimer’s when there is no cure? The opinions are divided.
The early signs of Alzheimer’s centre around forgetfulness, which means that often loved ones – whether partners, family or friends – are best-placed to notice behavioral changes. Encouraging your partner to see his or her GP as early as possible is advisable.
Scientists have recently made a major discovery that could lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study published in Nature Medicine reports that researchers were able to identify the primary genetic risk factor the development of the disease, and they even figured out a potential way to neutralize the risk factor.
Government and other scientists are proposing a new way to define Alzheimer’s disease — basing it on biological signs, such as brain changes, rather than memory loss and other symptoms of dementia that are used today.
Research from the University of Texas at San Antonio suggests that the plaques that cause the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may be more complicated than previously believed, a finding that could significantly affect drug development for the disease.
Researchers found that in addition to the sticky proteins called amyloid beta, other neural and repair proteins also exist within the plaques, indicating new biomarkers for the disease that affects more than 5 million people in the United States.
Most people associate dementia with short-term memory loss; someone with the condition can’t remember the prime minister’s name or where they left their car keys. But that inability to recall simple facts is not the only early sign of dementia, says Dr Selina Wray, Alzheimer’s Research UK senior research fellow and winner of the Alzheimer’s Research UK David Hague Early Career Investigator of the Year Award 2018.
Spotting the first indications of Alzheimer’s years before any obvious symptoms come on could help pinpoint people most likely to benefit from experimental drugs and allow family members to plan for eventual care. Devices equipped with such algorithms could be installed in people’s homes or in long-term care facilities to monitor those at risk. For patients who already have a diagnosis, such technology could help doctors make adjustments in their care.
The device works very similar to a pacemaker that is used in heart patients, except the wires go to a specific section of the brain. The wires stimulate “sickish” cells in the brain and help to restore functionality.
Researchers in Japan and Australia say they have made important progress in developing a blood test that could in future help doctors detect who might go on to get Alzheimer’s disease.
In a study published in the journal Nature, the scientists said the test, which can detect a toxic protein known as amyloid beta, linked to Alzheimer’s, was more than 90 per cent accurate in research involving around 370 people.
University of Minnesota researchers have created new technology aimed at making it easier to detect the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the Center for Drug Design used a camera to gather images of light interacting with the retina, which can catch Alzheimer’s in its early stages, the Minnesota Daily reported.
“Our goal is to detect the disease as early as we can, which will help in the progression and the success of treatments as well as drug discovery,” said Swati More, a university professor and co-lead researcher on the project.
A simple new tool that tracks cognitive performance in adults aims to help physicians identify people who may be on the path to Alzheimer disease or another form of dementia. The tool, called the QuoCo (cognitive quotient), is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
……..It’s not always bad. There’s good research on this about happiness and diagnoses. When people get diagnosed with a chronic terminal medical condition, oftentimes their mood can decrease, but if you give it enough time, usually they kind of bounce back a little bit – they start to cope with this,……
It’s one of the holy grails of science: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no treatment to stop the disease, let alone slow its progression. And billionaire Bill Gates thinks he will change that.
“I believe there is a solution,” he told me without hesitation.
In our twenties, we find it hilarious when we can’t remember our neighbor’s cat’s name or that adorable actor who starred in that movie—whatever it was called. In our thirties, we jokingly call it “brain freeze.” In our forties, we laugh it off as a “senior moment” and follow up with one of these old-age jokes. But the reality is that there comes a point when being forgetful stops being funny and starts to seem a bit, well, sinister. You think, “am I losing it?” Or worse: “Is this a sign of Alzheimer’s?”
Ionis and Biogen are bringing to bear the Ionis drug technology called antisense, which targets diseases processes at the genetic level. It blocks or modifies production of proteins involved in disease.
The Phase 1/2a study of the Alzheimer’s drug, IONIS-MAPTRx, seeks evidence of safety and signs of activity. It’s to be given in 44 patients with mild Alzheimer’s over three months.The drug targets microtubule-associated tau protein, also called MATP, or tau, an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s disease starts in the brain more than twenty years before the first symptom,” said Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medical Center. “Alzheimer’s disease is not an older person’s disease. It’s a disease of younger and middle-aged people. And that’s how we have to shift the paradigm.”
While memory loss is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, its presence doesn’t mean a person will develop dementia. A new study has found a clinically useful way to predict who won’t develop Alzheimer’s disease, based on patients’ awareness of their memory problems.
During the holidays, families come together from near and far to celebrate the season. Often it is also a time when family members begin to notice subtle changes in loved ones that were not apparent before.