NIH-supported research has identified a type of immune cell that helps remove waste products in the brain. Boosting these immune cells in aged mice improved the clearance of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The findings suggest potential prevention and treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
Researchers have discovered two novel genes that increase an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers used a technique called exome sequencing to identify the genes. Exome sequencing is able to identify rare mutations. The discovery brings scientists closer to finding treatment options and preventative measures for the disease.
The rePair Sleep Study is researching the use of a cognitive behavioral interventional plan that is used to improve sleep quality for both caregivers and persons living with cognitive impairment. The intervention involves discussions centered on sleep and adjustment of sleep habits. The intervention will take place via videoconferencing for 7 online visits where participants will complete questionnaires, daily sleep diaries, and wear a watch to monitor their activity.
Emory University researchers are looking for:
Persons with cognitive impairment who:Have a reported diagnosis of cognitive impairmentCo-reside with their caregiverHave sleep disturbancesCan read, speak and understand English Are willing to wear a wristwatch for 4 weeksAnd their caregiver who:Is an informal caregiver of co-residing person living with cognitive impairmentProvides unpaid caregiving assistance on average of 20 hours/week to person living with cognitive impairmentHas sleep disturbancesCan read, speak and understand EnglishIs willing to wear a wristwatch for 4 weeksThe caregiver and the person living with cognitive impairment will each receive a $25 gift card after completing the baseline visit, a $50 gift card after the completing the first post-intervention visit, and $25 after completing the 3-month post-intervention visit.
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s continues to rise. Currently, an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s — about 1 in 9. By 2050, the number is projected to reach nearly 13 million.
This and more facts and figures in the annual report from the Alzheimer’s association.
The purpose of the Brain Health Registry is to speed up the discovery of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. Joining the Brain Health Registry is easy. Participation takes less than three hours per year and can be completed entirely online.
If you choose to participate, you will be required to agree to a consent form. Once you give your consent, you will complete some questionnaires about your medical history, current health and lifestyle and take some online memory and thinking tests. You will be asked to come back every 6 months to answer more questions and take more tests. You may also have the opportunity to participate in additional research studies.
Brain Health Registry researchers are looking for people who are:
18 years and older
Healthy volunteers, as well as those who have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia
Past research, mainly performed on animals, suggested the aggregates form in one region then spread throughout the brain, much like how cancer spreads.
The new study suggests that while such spread may occur, it’s not in fact the main driver of disease progression.
“Once we have these seeds, little bits of aggregate throughout the brain, they just multiply and that process controls the speed,” said Meisl.
An analogy from the COVID pandemic is how travel bans between nations generally proved ineffective at stopping the spread of the virus, because it was already replicating within the countries trying to keep it out.
The team was also able to determine the time it takes the aggregates to double in number — roughly five years. That is an “encouraging” figure, said Meisl, because it shows the brain’s neurons already are good at countering aggregates.
“Maybe if we can make it just a tiny bit better we can significantly delay the onset of serious disease.”
Researchers have identified a genetic link between Alzheimer’s and severe cases of COVID-19 that may open new avenues into the treatment of both diseases.
The study, published in the journal Brain , found that the presence of a variant of the OAS1 gene increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by three to six per cent, while similar variants of the same gene increase the odds of contracting a case of severe COVID. In addition to presenting new possibilities for treatment, researchers hope this overlap may shed light on other infectious diseases and dementias.
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have been awarded a $4.6 million, five-year grant by the National Institute on Aging to study whether a potential Alzheimer’s disease treatment is safe and effective in improving cognitive function in young adults with Down syndrome.
Huntington Potter, PhD, professor of neurology, and Peter Pressman, MD, assistant professor of neurology, are principal investigators on the study of sargramostim, which is also know by the brand name Leukine, an FDA-approved drug with nearly 30 years of safe use in numerous patient populations.
“This is the first clinical trial in years to target cognition in people with Down syndrome,” said Potter, who is director of University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center. “We are breaking new ground in studying both of these disorders – Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. We hope that this therapy will greatly improve their quality of life.”
Disrupted sleep is common in late life, the study authors wrote, and associated with changes in cognitive function — the mental capacity for learning, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, remembering and paying attention.Age-related changes in sleep have also been linked with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and cardiovascular disease, so the authors investigated possible associations between self-reported sleep duration, demographic and lifestyle factors, subjective and objective cognitive function, and participants’ levels of beta amyloid.
An Algorithm developed by Lithuanian researchers can predict possible Alzheimer’s with nearly 100 per cent accuracy. Researchers from Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania developed a method that can predict Alzheimer’s disease with an accuracy of over 99 %.
Neurobiologists have uncovered the long-sought-after mechanisms behind the maintenance and decline of key synapses implicated in brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers identified the main components driving amyloid beta-associated synapse degeneration, which is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. The findings suggest an alternative approach to addressing neurodegenerative disorders: protect synapses by directly blocking the toxic actions of amyloid beta.
Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause of dementia and current therapeutic strategies cannot prevent, slow down or cure the pathology. The disease is characterized by memory loss, caused by the degeneration and death of neuronal cells in several regions of the brain, including the hippocampus. Researchers have identified a small molecule that can be used to rejuvenate the brain and counteract the memory loss.