Dolphins and Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Poor responses to insulin have been closely associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans, and previous research has shown that bottlenose dolphins can also develop insulin resistance. That, combined with the recent discovery of amyloid plaques and tangled clumps of fibers in bottlenose dolphin brains, led the researchers to believe that dolphins, like us, may develop signs of Alzheimer’s disease as a result of high levels of blood sugar and insulin.

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Israeli researchers may have found a trigger!

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Dr. Debbie Toiber, of the BGU Department of Life Sciences, and her team discovered that a specific protein — Sirtuin-6 (SIRT6) — is severely reduced in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. SIRT6 is critical to the repair of DNA, the deterioration of which “is the beginning of the chain that ends in neurodegenerative diseases in seniors,” she explains.

The blood-brain barrier prevents us from simply being able to inject the protein into the brain to replenish its supply. Dr. Toiber is currently working on finding a way to increase the expression of the protein into the brain.

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Four trials go to human phase!

Alzheimer; News from the web:

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.

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Alzheimer’s is a young or middle-aged person’s disease

Alzheimer; News from the web:

“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.”

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The Alzheimer’s gene as a target!

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As a first step, a team is testing whether it’s possible to stop or slow tau-driven neuron loss and inflammation by lowering ApoE in the early life of laboratory rodents. This scheme mimics a human scenario better than the recent study, which analyzed mice that express or lack APOE from birth. “The implication here, with the recent tau findings, is that you’d really block the neurodegeneration that leads to cognitive decline,” Holtzman says.

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A new, non invasive, test for Alzheimer’s

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In the largest and most conclusive study of its kind, researchers have analysed blood samples to create a novel and non-invasive way of helping to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and distinguishing between different types of neurodegenerative disorders.

Following this breakthrough discovery, Alzheimer’s sufferers may now have an additional test to improve the accuracy of  in order to better tailor appropriate treatment. The research also offers a valuable opportunity to monitor the .

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Alzheimer; News from the web:

Nearly three dozen new Alzheimer’s drugs may reach the market in the next five years, researchers say.

That includes 27 drugs in phase 3 clinical trials, which are later in the drug review process. It also includes eight drugs in phase 2 clinical trials, according to an analysis by ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s (RA2) investigators, an UsAgainstAlzheimer’s network.

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Taking Alzheimer’s research in a different direction

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Changiz Geula, a professor of neuroscience at Northwestern University, has been studying brain tissue collected from people who died at age 90 or older. He found that some people who die with sharp minds have brains that are clogged with the gunk associated with Alzheimer’s pathology. That means it’s possible to have an “Alzheimer’s brain” but no dementia. Dr. Geula believes that in cases like this, some actor in the brain — call it the opposite of Alzheimer’s — is protecting neurons from damage. We still don’t know what it is.

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Get ready for Alzheimer’s care, fix the home first

Alzheimer; News from the web:

The National Institute on Aging has created a 44-page booklet with a checklist to make each room in the home a safer environment for someone with dementia. Alzheimer’s progresses differently in each person, but here are some general principles that may be helpful to everyone who is going to be involved in your alzheimer’s care.

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Instead of dissolving the protein, let’s unfold it

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Researchers may have uncovered the critical missing piece that could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. It’s an enzyme that plays a role in how the disease develops, but could also be harnessed to work against the tangled accumulation of proteins that eventually wreak havoc in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

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Cannabis good for the brains

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these ageing processes in the brain. This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient. This opens up new options, for instance, when it comes to treating dementia. The results are now presented in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Death rate from Alzheimer’s has increased 55% over 15 years

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, affects about 5.5 million Americans – a number that’s expected to balloon to 13.8 million by 2050.

As the incidence of people living with the neurodegenerative disease has gone up, the death rate has as well.

Between 1999 and 2014, the rate of deaths related to Alzheimer’s in the US increased 55 percent, to 25.4 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data released Friday from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

But there is also good news:

A Global Plan on Dementia has been adopted by the WHO, this is a big deal!

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Closer to Nature – Interactive Installation Design for Elderly with Dementia

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See the innovative approach Carlijn Valk, a Dutch Industrial Designer working on her Ph.D. has used to bring nature closer to elderly patients with dementia and how it has helped them feel positive and think back about their past experiences.

The work was featured in the Dutch Design Week 2015 and has been presented during the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health in Porto, Portugal and published in the Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health – Volume 1: ICT4AWE,

A wonderful installation, built and tested in three homes in the Netherlands.

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Maybe we need a mix of drugs to fight Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer; News from the web:

This could increase the pace of finding a cure. Researchers are looking at how HIV got brought mostly under control:

The Alzheimer’s Association has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to challenge the research community to propose promising drug combinations to find more-effective treatments.

The joint effort, known as the Alzheimer’s Combination Therapy Opportunities (ACTO) grant initiative, will provide $2 million this year for testing approaches that simultaneously target two or more processes believed to underlie, exacerbate, or occur in the disease.

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A nice extra with stroke prevention! It reduces dementia!

Alzheimer; News from the web:

Ontario’s stroke prevention strategy appears to have had an unexpected, beneficial side effect: a reduction also in the incidence of dementia among older seniors. A new paper is the first to look at the demographics of both stroke and dementia across Ontario since the province pioneered Canada’s first stroke prevention strategy in 2000.

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Promising drug from the UK

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Human trials coming soon, results expected in 2-3 years, what is there not to like? A novel approach that has been done before but had some disadvantages. The researchers are now confident they have figured out the correct way to stop memory degeneration.

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