How language can impact Alzheimer’s trials

Alzheimer; News from the web:

According to interviews with doctors, government officials and pharmaceutical companies, few Alzheimer’s studies include medical interpreters to help patients complete the specialized neuropsychological testing component required.

One of the challenges is that clinicians and researchers have strongly cautioned against using interpreters to facilitate neuropsychological testing based on clinical experiences, observations and anecdotal evidence that they affect outcomes, according to a study published in Clinical Neuropsychology.

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Look me in the eyes

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Results from two studies show that a new, non-invasive imaging device can see signs of Alzheimer’s disease in a matter of seconds. The researchers show that the small blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye are altered in patients with Alzheimer’s. Even patients who have a family history of Alzheimer’s but have no symptoms show these telltale signs.

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Should we look at Down’s for clues about Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer; News from the web:

At first glance, Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, two severe brain abnormalities, may seem to have little in common. Down syndrome is a hereditary disease, the source of which has long been recognized — a triplication of chromosome 21. By contrast, the overwhelming majority of Alzheimer’s cases (more than 95 percent) do not have a clear-cut genetic source. Instead, the disease, which usually becomes clinically apparent late in life, is caused by a perplexing constellation of factors. While these have been the focus of intense study for more than 100 years, few conclusive answers have come to light.

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Overly optimistic about a cure for Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer; News from the web:

This is the most important column I’ve ever written.  The message is quite complex–dozens of new health parameters to test for and to optimize, all of them interacting in ways that will require new training for MDs.  The message is also as simple as it can be: There is a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. You can stop reading right here, and buy two copies of Dale Bredesen’s book, one for you and one for your doctor:  The End of Alzheimer’s.

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The best defense is attack or in this case, prevention of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer; News from the web:

It may be too late to stop Alzheimer’s in people who already have some mental decline. But what if a treatment could target the very earliest brain changes while memory and thinking skills are still intact, in hope of preventing the disease? Two big studies are going all out to try.

Clinics throughout the United States and some other countries are signing up participants — the only studies of this type enrolling healthy older people.

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Ah, this is why all those tests failed

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Researchers at King’s College London have discovered a vicious feedback loop underlying brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease which may explain why so many drug trials have failed. The study also identifies a clinically approved drug which breaks the vicious cycle and protects against memory-loss in animal models of Alzheimer’s.

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Alzheimer’s, who is more at risk, ladies or gentlemen?

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Women are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than men, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

There’s a higher risk in women, even after discounting their longer life expectancy.

The exact reason why women are more at risk of the dementia isn’t entirely understood, but it’s believed to be related to their genetic makeup.

But, men are more likely to develop vascular dementia, the charity warned.

“Some risk factors for dementia can’t be changed,” it said. “The most important are a person’s age, genes, sex and ethnic origin.

“Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men [even allowing for the fact that women on average live longer]. Continue reading

This is how exercise works for (against) Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer; News from the web:

A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team finds that neurogenesis -inducing the production of new neurons — in the brain structure in which memories are encoded can improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Their investigation shows that those beneficial effects on cognition can be blocked by the hostile inflammatory environment present in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and that physical exercise can “clean up” the environment, allowing new nerve cells to survive and thrive and improving cognition in the Alzheimer’s mice.

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Even one day can do damage

Alzheimer; News from the web:

The researchers, studying rodent models, found that the more complex a memory is, the greater the risk that it will be compromised by a high-fat diet. The study demonstrates that such a diet causes deficits in episodic, spatial and contextual memory.

Episodic memory (those that provide context, such as ‘what, when, who and where’) is important in humans as it is one of the first types of memory to be compromised in Alzheimer’s disease and deficits in this memory type have been linked to a higher body mass index in young adults.

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