In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have found that in people middle-aged and older, a brain structure that is key to learning and memory is plumpest in those who spend the most time standing up and moving. At every age, prolonged sitters show less thickness in the medial temporal lobe and the subregions that make it up, the study found.
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.
A new study has uncovered a biological clock circuit that may explain why people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can become more agitated or aggressive in the early evening.
People with Alzheimer’s can feel more agitated during the evening.
The researchers hope that their findings will lead to new treatments that help to calm the aggressiveness and agitation that individuals with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases commonly experience as part of a condition known as “sundowning.”
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.
One of the more vexing problems bedeviling Alzheimer’s research is why so many treatments that are successful in mouse models fail in clinical trials with humans. In a paper published yesterday in Nature Medicine, a team of researchers at the Gladstone Institutes identified how a key genetic variant associated with the development of Alzheimer’s operates differently in mice and humans. They also showed that the problematic gene can be repaired.
A new study reports a newly discovered link between the loss of dopamine-firing cells in the brain and the brain’s ability to form new memories. It questions the implications of these findings regarding Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
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.
Funny play on words from the authors from Phys.org but the topic is serious enough.
A compound in beets that gives the vegetable its distinctive red color could eventually help slow the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain, a process that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists say this discovery could lead to the development of drugs that could alleviate some of the long-term effects of the disease, the world’s leading cause of dementia.
Poor sleep and the risk of dementia go hand in hand, but no one knew which came first. In what researchers say is the first study of its kind, a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology shows that excessive daytime sleepiness in cognitively normal elderly leads to a buildup of a plaque in the brain called amyloid.
At the University of Amsterdam Lianne Hoeijmakers will defend her thesis in order to receive her PhD on the topic on March 23. We are excited to learn more. Here is where she has some of her publications for you to browse.
The current Alzheimer’s clinical research impasse has encouraged more doctors to pursue non-pharmacological alternatives. For most individuals — beyond the up-to-5-percent who are genetically predisposed to early onset Alzheimer’s — focusing on lifestyle factors as the key to brain fitness and cognitive function, they say, is wiser than waiting for a breakthrough delivered in a pill.
A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston shows that using near infrared light on the heads of mice can effectively reduce vulnerability to the damaging effects of a toxic chemical in the brain known to be involved with the onset of Alzheimer’s. This data is detailed in Scientific Reports.
In March 2015, Li-Huei Tsai set up a tiny disco for some of the mice in her laboratory. For an hour each day, she placed them in a box lit only by a flickering strobe. The mice — which had been engineered to produce plaques of the peptide amyloid-β in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — crawled about curiously. When Tsai later dissected them, those that had been to the mini dance parties had significantly lower levels of plaque than mice that had spent the same time in the dark1.
More research will need to get done but for now, at least the mice have found a cure for Alzheimer’s. It involves removing one enzyme in the brain. This cleared out all the amyloid plaques which is often seen as the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Some other studies though, suggest that working on the amyloid plaques is the wrong target and they may not be the eventual cause for Alzheimer’s.
In any case, even if this new development would be transferable to humans, it will take another five to seven years before we could see it in doctor’s hands for treatments.
It is a long road, we continue to monitor its progress.