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Alzheimers Q&A: Is there a link between smoking and dementia? – The Advocate

Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:56 pm


According to the American Lung Association, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and causes over 480,000 deaths every year.

Smoking damages the heart, lungs and the vascular system, and causes or worsens numerous diseases and conditions.

The link between smoking and the risk of Alzheimer's disease or dementia has long been controversial, yet, most studies show that the brain is not immune to the long-term consequences of heavy smoking. The impact is likely to become even greater as the population ages and the prevalence of Alzheimer's and dementia continues to rise.

Some earlier studies exploring the risk of dementia among smokers concluded that smoking decreased the likelihood of developing Alzheimers disease. However, reviews suggested these studies were biased because of the researchers connections to the tobacco industry. The conclusion reasoned that if smoking reduces the risk of dementia in later years, it accomplishes that by shortening life.

According to a World Health Organizations report Tobacco and Dementia in 2014, smoking is a risk factor for dementia and current smokers have a 30% to 75% greater risk for developing dementia when compared to nonsmokers.

Additionally, as mentioned in the same report, secondhand smoke exposure may also increase the risk of dementia by more than 25%. Further, data from a Barnes and Yaffe study posted in The Lancet Neurology in 2011 suggested that 14% of Alzheimers disease cases could be attributed to smoking.

Additionally, research compiled at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital in Finland showed that smoking more than two packs of cigarettes daily from age 50 to 60 doubles the risk of dementia later in later life. For example, 25.4% of the participants in the study were diagnosed with dementia an average of 23 years later. Additionally, of the individuals in that group of over 20,000 who had dementia, 1,136 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and 416 of the participants later developed vascular dementia.

Since smoking is a well-established risk factor for strokes, it also can contribute to the risk of vascular dementia through similar means.

The studies also found that smoking contributes to the oxidative stress and inflammation, two components believed to be significant in the development of Alzheimer's disease, and that smoking affects the development of dementia through vascular and neurodegenerative pathways.

Researchers also probed former smokers to gather data on increased risk of dementia. Findings concluded that former smokers or individuals who smoked less than half a pack per day did not appear to be at an increased risk for developing dementia. Further, associations between dementia and smoking did not vary by race or gender.

Smoking is a modifiable risk factor. Smoking cessation is of potential benefit to brain health and is a risk reducer for developing dementia. Various stop-smoking programs are available through the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and other local health care entities and community organizations.

Questions about Alzheimer's disease or related disorders can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, owner of Dana Territo Consulting, LLC, at thememorywhisperer@gmail.com.

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Alzheimers Q&A: Is there a link between smoking and dementia? - The Advocate

Air-Pollution Linked To Alzheimers Disease In Older Women – Patch.com

Posted: November 28, 2020 at 2:57 pm


LOS ANGELES, CA A study released Wednesday by USC researchers found that older women who live in areas with high levels of air pollution may have more Alzheimer's-like brain shrinkage than those who live in places with cleaner air.

"Over the last few years, the clinical neurology community has recognized late-life exposure to fine particles as an environmental risk factor for dementias including Alzheimer's disease, but whether air pollution alters different brain structures that may increase an individual's dementia risk is still being researched," said the study's lead author, Diana Younan.

"Our study found that women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 (fine particulate pollution) outdoors were more likely to have the pattern of brain atrophy that would increase their risk for Alzheimer's disease over five years," said Younan, who is a senior research associate in the department of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The study -- published in the online issue of Neurology -- involved 712 women with an average age of 78 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. They received MRI brain scans at the start of the study and then again five years later.

Researchers found a 0.03-point increase in brain shrinkage scores for each three-microgram increase in air pollution exposure levels that may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 24% over five years.

The findings suggest that further tightening of air quality standards may reduce the risk of dementia in older populations, the researchers said.

Younan said the findings have "important public health implications" because researchers also found brain shrinkage in women exposed to the highest levels of fine particulate pollution but also in women exposed to levels lower than those that the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe.

"While more research is needed, federal efforts to tighten the air pollution exposure standards in the future may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's in our older populations," Younan added.

The study only looked at the brains of older women so the results may not be the same for men or younger women, according to the research team.

Along with Younan, the study's authors are Xinhui Wang, Andrew J. Petkus, Margaret Gatz, Helena C. Chui and Jiu-Chiuan Chen, all of USC; Ramon Casanova, Ryan Barnard, Sarah A. Gaussoin, Santiago Saldana, Daniel P. Beavers, Bonnie C. Sachs, Mark A. Espeland, Sally A. Shumaker and Stephen R. Rapp, of Wake Forest School of Medicine; Marc L. Serre and William Vizuete of University of North Carolina; Susan M. Resnick of the National Institute on Aging; JoAnn E. Manson and Joel A. Salinas of Harvard Medical School; and Victor W. Henderson of Stanford University.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging and the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center.

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Air-Pollution Linked To Alzheimers Disease In Older Women - Patch.com

Living with Alzheimer’s during the holidays – Coshocton Tribune

Posted: at 2:57 pm


Emily Marrison, Columnist Published 1:00 p.m. ET Nov. 28, 2020

Emily Marrison(Photo: Submitted)

Do you know that Ohio State UniversityExtension offers a Healthy Aging Network Telecast each month featuring a variety of topics related to healthy aging? My colleague, Kathy Tutt, hosts several guests and specialists in the field of aging. You can view these telecasts at go.osu.edu/healthyagingnetwork.

This month the topic is Holiday season and managing family with Alzheimer's disease.Tutt interviews Karen Rose, the director for the Center for Healthy Aging, Self-Management and Complex Care in the College of Nursing at OSU. Rose offers some practical advice to prepare for the holidays, especially in light of adjustments due to the pandemic.

One of the most useful things I learned was about phraseology. Often you may hear the phrase that an individual is suffering from Alzheimers disease or dementia. Rose suggests we change the lens and instead refer to an individual as someone living with Alzheimers disease or dementia.

Rose also encourages us that the holidays can still be meaningful and joyful. Preplanning is key to helping this happen. One of her tips is communicating with the person with dementia about what the holidays are and that they are coming up. Because their long-term memory may still be intact, once decorations go up or cookies are baked, they may be able to tell that it is Christmas time.

Managing expectations is also very important. This way you dont set yourself up for feelings of frustration or set up your loved one for feelings of failure. Match your expectations with what they can functionally do and then monitor how they are doing. If you give them an assignment and you notice they are distressed, then modify it, give them helpor give them something different to do.

Keep to a schedule as much as you can. That can be tough with certain activities but communicating with other family members can help. Have tools in your tool kit. If your loved one with dementia becomes over-stimulated, consider getting out an old family photo album or some other activity that you know is soothing and calming for them.

If you are only meeting over technology, consider doing some practice runs to be sure that your computer and connection is in working order. If you are meeting in person, remember that masks could be scary. Consider that your loved one may not be able to see people well or hear people well, which could be frustrating for them.

The Alzheimers Association also has some tips and support to celebrate the holidays safely during COVID-19 at alz.org.They suggest that simplifying celebrations, planning aheadand setting boundaries can help you minimize stress and create a pleasant holiday experience for you and the person with dementia.

Some ideas they have for creating a safe and calm space are to avoid blinking lights or large decorative displays that can cause confusion. They also suggest avoiding decorations that cause clutter or require you to rearrange a familiar room.

One positive suggestion is to play favorite music. Familiar or favorite holiday music may be enjoyable. Just be sure to adjust the volume to be relaxing and not distressing.

Preparing for the holidays can be a sweet time together. But part of managing expectations involves staying focused on the task rather than the outcome. Mix batter, decorate cookies, open holiday cardsor make simple decorations.

Today Ill leave you with this quote from Tia Walker: To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.

Emily Marrison is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 740-622-2265.

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USAN Modifies Lead Drug Candidate’s Chemical Name to ‘Simufilam’Future References to Lead Drug Candidate for Alzheimer’s Disease Will Be Simufilam -…

Posted: at 2:57 pm


AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cassava Sciences Inc.. (Nasdaq: SAVA) today announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) advised the United States Adopted Names Council (USAN) to modify the chemical name of the Companys lead drug candidate to simufilam. This change was advised by WHO to avoid a potential trademark conflict with a drug marketed in the Far East.

USAN has accepted WHOs advice. Future references to Cassava Sciences lead drug candidate for Alzheimers disease will be simufilam.

About USANThe United States Adopted Names Council is responsible for selecting simple, informative and unique nonproprietary drug names. The USAN Council establishes logical nomenclature classifications based on pharmacological or chemical relationships. In addition to one member-at-large and a U.S. Food and Drug Administration liaison, USAN consists of one representative from The American Medical Association, the United States Pharmacopeiaand the American Pharmacists Association.

About Alzheimer's DiseaseAlzheimers disease is a progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills. Currently, there are no drug therapies to halt Alzheimers disease, much less reverse its course. In the U.S. alone, approximately 5.8 million people are currently living with Alzheimers disease, and approximately 487,000 people age 65 or older developed Alzheimers in 2019. The number of people living with Alzheimers disease is expected to grow dramatically in the years ahead, resulting in a growing social and economic burden.

About SimufilamSimufilam is Cassava Sciences lead therapeutic product candidate for the treatment of Alzheimers disease. Simufilam is a proprietary, small molecule (oral) drug that restores the normal shape and function of altered filamin A (FLNA), a scaffolding protein, in the brain. Altered FLNA in the brain disrupts the normal function of neurons, leading to Alzheimers pathology, neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. The underlying science is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Journal of Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Aging, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation and Journal of Prevention of Alzheimers Disease.

About Cassava Sciences, Inc.Cassava Sciences mission is to discover and develop innovations for chronic, neurodegenerative conditions. Over the past 10 years, Cassava Sciences has combined state-of-the-art technology with new insights in neurobiology to develop novel solutions for Alzheimers disease. For more information, please visit: https://www.CassavaSciences.com

For More Information Contact:Eric Schoen, Chief Financial OfficerCassava Sciences, Inc.eschoen@CassavaSciences.com(512) 501-2450

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USAN Modifies Lead Drug Candidate's Chemical Name to 'Simufilam'Future References to Lead Drug Candidate for Alzheimer's Disease Will Be Simufilam -...

‘Fight this disease’ – Aston Villa legend Gordon Cowans reveals ongoing Alzheimer’s battle – Birmingham Live

Posted: at 2:57 pm


Aston Villa legendary midfielder and European Cup winner Gordon Cowans has opened up about his battle with Alzheimer's disease.

The 62-year-old was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's - a form of dementia that can affect changes in mood, memory loss, general confusion and communication - back in March and released a statement to Villa supporters outlining his illness.

He said: "After a series of recent tests I have been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Medication has been prescribed, with some life changes, which I intend to commit to fully, the prognosis is a good one.

"I will be out and about for many years yet and see this as just another of life's journeys."

Fast-forward a little over eight months and Cowans - who made over 400 appearances during three spells with Villa in the 70s, 80s and 90s - has given his first interview about life with Alzheimer's and the challenges the illness brings.

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Speaking to the Daily Mail, Cowans said: "To begin with, I laughed it off. But there are only so many times in an hour you can misplace your glasses or wallet, without thinking that there might be something wrong. Although, I should say, the wallet one worked in my favour, particularly when it was my round!

"But now we know what is wrong, we can make the best of the good time I have. I have had to make some changes, such as only drinking the non-alcoholic stuff, but it has not been that difficult.

"If you had told me before my diagnosis that I would not be able to enjoy a drink with family and friends, I would have called you mad. I take the medication prescribed, play my golf and, when Covid-19 allows, carry on with life in much the same way I did before.

Cowans, who also won the League Cup, European Super Cup and First Division with Villa in 1981, added: "I know what this disease is all about. I have watched my friend and former Villa colleague, Chris Nicholl, bravely battle it for years, so I know what is coming.

"Big Chris has fought it in the same way he played the game, with a no-nonsense approach, but its not a fair opponent. It plays dirty and, until there is a treatment, it will be the only winner. Chris has always been an inspiration to me, on and off the pitch, and I intend to fight this disease with the same determination he has.

"But did it come as a shock? I am not sure it did. I have never had the best of memories, but you begin to realise that the constant, same old issues must be more than just a coincidence.

"My family pushed hard for me to get tested because of the worry it was causing and I am glad they did."

Cowans' family - daughter Jenna, son Henry and partner Vicc - published an open letter to fans on Villa's website back in early March "in an attempt to stop speculation and misinformation" about the former England midfielder's health.

Reminiscing about his career in claret and blue, the former Villa academy coach and assistant manager said: "I had a great career and played with some incredible players, for incredible teams, under great managers.

"I have played football in Italy, represented my country, scored for my country and, because of football, travelled extensively. I have a loving family, daughter Jenna, son Henry and my partner Vicci. I have three fabulous grandkids and some great friends."

A former player for the likes of Wolves, Bari, Derby and Sheffield United, Cowans explained how he's releasing a book in 2021 about his illustrious playing career, one that's seen him etched in Villa folklore with supporters naming Cowans as the best of a generation.

"It is fair to say that towards the end at Villa I had a tough time," he said, "and for a time I found myself in a pretty dark place, but I am fine now.

"We are writing the story of my life, which we hope will be out in the new year. Just reliving the many memories makes me realise that, all in all, I am a lucky man."

You can read Cowans' Daily Mail interview in full HERE.

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'Fight this disease' - Aston Villa legend Gordon Cowans reveals ongoing Alzheimer's battle - Birmingham Live

A New US Patent Has Been Issued for The Prevention And/or Treatment of Dementia – BioSpace

Posted: at 2:57 pm


BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Memory Health LLC and The Howard Foundation Holding LTD announce the issuance of a groundbreaking US Patent FOR THE PREVENTION AND/OR TREATMENT OF NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE [a method for the prevention and/or treatment of dementia in a human subject].

United States Patent10,835,509 was issued November 17, 2020 and represents a massive milestone for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disease. Finally, there is asafe, natural, and proven solution based on level 1 evidence, to help patients afflicted with neurodegenerative disease and/or those desiring to reduce the risk of such a diagnosis.

The recently departed Professor Alan Howard and his co-inventors Professor John Nolan and Doctor Riona Mulcahy comprised the scientific team who brought forth this groundbreaking discovery leading to the patent on the prevention and/or treatment ofneurodegenerative disease, which focuses on the leading cause of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This patent is the result of top-level science beginning with the 2018 discovery that Xanthophyll Carotenoids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids combined have a significant positive impact on memory, mood, and the patient's quality of life.Nolan, J.M., et al.,Nutritional Intervention to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Benefits of Xanthophyll Carotenoids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Combined.J Alzheimer's Dis, 2018.64(2): p. 367-378.

Clinical studies demonstrated that this discovery brings a safe and effective nootropic supplement to those patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. This state-of-the-art supplement called MEMORY HEALTH stands as the only natural and proven nootropic patented for preventionand/or treatment ofneurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

"Too many treatments and products have either failed to deliver on their promises or are promoting low level questionable science that does not achieve results," says Edward Shehab, Co-Manager and Partner. "Having lost my mother to Alzheimer's and witnessed her forgetting me, my family, and the memories that filled her life, I am proud to be involved with a product based on the most impressive body of science to date and ingredients that provide real results."

"The science behind Memory Health's ingredients and their crucial role in brain health is now recognized and validated by many sources, all independent from one another. We know that targeted nutrition is the key to health and wellness," concluded Shehab. Dietary carotenoids related to risk of incident Alzheimer dementia (AD) and brain AD neuropathology: a community-based cohort of older adults Changzheng Yuan,Hui Chenet al. Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Nov 12;nqaa303. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa303

George Perry, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease stated: "The real breakthrough in Alzheimer's disease in this decade is the demonstration that lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk: exercise, stress reduction and nutrition all work together. Carotenoids and Omega 3s are important components of a diet to reduce risk of the disease."

In 2018, a team of scientists asked the most important question: Why do trials for Alzheimer's disease drugs keep failing? "The conclusions presented included methodology, rating, and targeting issues, but the most concerning conclusions were that treatments were either too late or focused on disease modification rather than symptom remission," says Frederic Jouhet, Co-Manager and Partner. "These are degenerative diseases," continues Jouhet, "and the only logical method to address them is to provide an anti-degenerative cocktail of nutrients required by our bodies, early in life, in order to alter the effect of the cost of doing business with life; degeneration. We know it is never too early to start, but science tells us it can be too late. Why do trials for Alzheimer's disease drugs keep failing? A discontinued drug perspective for 20102015 Dev Mehta, Robert Jackson et al. expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2017 June ; 26(6): 735739. doi:10.1080/13543784.2017.1323868

This is the second patent Memory Health has received for the prevention and/or treatment of neurodegenerative disease. A similar patent was awarded in the United Kingdom [#GB2568986].

About Memory Health LLC:Memory Health is a Michigan company. It is a research based, leading company in the nootropic supplement industry. Memory Health has a robust business to consumer based sales platform, while simultaneously having agreements in place with distributors and medical facilities in the United States and Europe. Memory Health is expanding into leading pharmacies and stores nationwide.

In Memoriam:Professor Alan Norman Howard (1929-2020)Margaret Rose Shehab (1925-2019)

To place an order or speak with a Memory Health supplement specialist, call 833-863-6679.

Media Contact:

Edward J Shehab, Managing Partner259794@email4pr.com248-430-5309

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Amyloid in the Retina Correlates With Alzheimer’s Brain Changes – Medscape

Posted: November 26, 2020 at 1:54 am


The eyes may offer a window into the brain when it comes to build-up of amyloid, a key hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Elevated amyloid deposits in the proximal mid-periphery (PMP) of the superotemporal retinal region in patients with mild cognitive decline were previously correlated with decreased hippocampal volume.

Additional research suggests retinal beta amyloid (A) deposition correlates with, and may even precede, cerebral A deposition.

Dr Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui

Retinal amyloid screening could be an easy, inexpensive tool to detect the earliest signs of AD, study investigator Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery and biomedical Sciences, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, told Medscape Medical News. "I hope this is a game changer," she added.

The study was published online September 28 in Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Koronyo-Hamaoui's team and others previously found deposits of A in the retinas of mouse models and of patients with AD at autopsy.

The researchers have now developed analytical software and used an iPad-controlled ophthalmic device to examine amyloid in regions of the retina of living patients.

The study included 34 participants 18 women and 16 men with a mean age of 65 years. Most (97%) were White, with only one Black subject. Subjects were matched for sex and age.

Participants underwent neuropsychiatric evaluation and structural brain MRI. Researchers collected data on total intracranial volume (ICV), hippocampal volume (HV), and inferior lateral ventricle volume (ILVV).

Researchers stratified patients based on Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) scores. MOCA scores of 26 were considered indicative of cognitive impairment and a score >26 normal cognition. A CDR score of 0.5 indicated questionable dementia, 1 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 2 moderate cognitive impairment.

Based on their neuropsychological reports, most participants (n = 22) had amnestic MCI, three had probable AD, one had possible frontotemporal dementia, and eight had normal cognitive scores.

Koronyo-Hamaoui noted that individuals with amnestic MCI are considered to be in the early clinical stage of AD.

All participants received a 4-day supply of curcumin powder, bottles of a liquid nutritional shake with which to mix the powder, and vitamin E capsules 400 IU to enhance bioavailability.

Considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), curcumin has high specificity and affinity for amyloid, especially A 42, and displays natural fluorescence in tissue, said Koronyo-Hamaoui.

Several hours after patients took the last curcumin mixture, researchers used a confocal scanning ophthalmoscope to obtain retinal images using blue light for excitation of curcumin emission.

The retina, which is directly connected to the brain, is the only central nervous system tissue accessible for high-resolution and noninvasive imaging, the investigators note.

The researchers imaged the superior retina in each eye, and processed the high-resolution images using the novel investigational software.

They segmented the region of interest (ROI) into three sub-regions. These included the proximal mid-periphery, the posterior pole (PP), and the distal mid-periphery (DMP).

They quantified retinal amyloid count (RAC), or the number of plaques, and total retinal amyloid area (RA), which indicates the burden or overall load of amyloid, in the target ROI and the three sub-regions.

There is a "tight correlation" between the number of amyloid "spots" and the larger size of these plaques, "especially in cognitively impaired individuals," said Koronyo-Hamaoui.

Results showed RAC significantly and inversely correlated with hippocampal volume (P = .04). Associations were particularly notable in the proximal mid-periphery. The PMP retinal amyloid count and area were significantly greater in patients with MOCA score < 26 (P = .01).

The proximal mid-periphery showed significantly more RAC and area in subjects with amnestic MCI and AD compared with those who were cognitively normal (P = .04).

"We found that the proximal mid-periphery had a very nice correlation that could predict hippocampal loss," said Koronyo-Hamaoui. Among other findings, the study also showed HV and ILVV were significantly different between the three levels of CDR scores.

That proximal mid-periphery RAC in the superotemporal quadrant correlated significantly with hippocampal volume and Clinical Dementia Rating and "supports a possible association between RAC and AD stage," the investigators note.

There were not enough participants to detect statistical differences between retinal amyloid in males and females, "but we know that women have more pathology in general," said Koronyo-Hamaoui.

The researchers were not able to examine the correlation between retinal amyloid with brain amyloid as they didn't have access to positron emission tomography imaging and didn't want to expose patients to an invasive procedure, she noted.

However, another of her studies showed a correlation between A in the retina and the brains of mice.

Researchers believe retinal amyloid affects eyesight, even very early on in AD.

"There are a lot of reports showing functional changes that are related to retinal pathology," which can involve impairment in such things as color vision and contrast sensitivity, said Koronyo-Hamaoui.

Emerging evidence suggests amyloid are in areas of the eye other than the retina, including the lens, she added.

It may also be possible to detect tau tangles, another hallmark sign of AD, in the retina, she said. "We hope that over time, we could develop a tau signal in retina during life."

Koronyo-Hamaoui believes the retina is ideal "as a kind of tool to diagnose and monitor neurodegenerative disease and, so far, appears to mirror very well what's happening in the brain."

Looking ahead, Koronyo-Hamaoui believes that neurologists or ophthalmologists could carry out this simple, noninvasive 10 to 20 minute screening test.

Once a certain predefined retinal amyloid threshold is met, doctors and patients would "keep an eye on" this, much as they might for high triglycerides or blood glucose levels, she said.

This could mean closer follow-up or "additional steps" such as a brain MRI, and lifestyle changes, she said.

Future larger studies should determine the potential of retinal amyloid as a biomarker of early AD, the investigators note.

Commenting on this research for Medscape Medical News, Heather Snyder, PhD, vice president of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer's Association, said it "adds to the growing body of evidence showing Alzheimer's disease brain-related changes may be detected through the eyes."

While the study was carried out in a small population, "it's exciting to see this type of research moving forwardin living people," said Snyder.

The next step, she said, is to conduct this research in a much larger population.

Investigating retinal imaging as a screening tool is part of the "global quest" for an easier way to detect and diagnose AD, said Snyder.

Being able to detect abnormal accumulation of amyloid in the eye may allow clinicians to identify the disease at earlier stages, even before symptoms appear, when it may be most treatable and preventable, she said.

A retinal amyloid screening tool promises to be more accessible, less expensive, and less invasive than the current screening methods using PET scans or lumbar punctures, added Snyder.

The Alzheimer's Association, she noted, has been advancing retinal imaging technology for some time. In 2019, it convened a workshop on advancing the technology for clinical trials and diagnostic purposes. Koronyo-Hamaoui's team was part of the organizing committee for that event.

Koronyo-Hamaoui is a cofounding member of NeuroVision Imaging Inc. She is a coinventor of US patents related to retinal imaging and Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's Dement. Published online September 28, 2020. Full text

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Upstate police searching for missing man believed to be in early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease – WYFF4 Greenville

Posted: at 1:54 am


Upstate police searching for missing man believed to be in early stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Updated: 8:17 AM EST Nov 24, 2020

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I'LL GET YOU CAUGHT UP WITH THAT FORECAST COMING UP. GEOFF: BREAKING NEWS THIS MORNING -- A MAJOR DEVELOPMENT EXPECTED TODAY SURROUNDING A GREENVILLE COUNTY COLD CASE. DANA: LET'S TAKE A LIVE LOOK AT THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE RIGHT NOW. THEY WILL ANNOUNCE SOME NEW INFORMATION ABOUT A CRIME DATING BACK FIVE YEARS. NOW, DEPUTIES HAVE NOT SAID WHICH CRIME HAPPENED IN 2015 AND HOW THIS IS RELATED, BUT WE WILL BE THERE FOR THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. IT STARTS AT 3:00 P.M. WE'LL BRING YOU THE VERY LATEST. IN COMMITMENT 2020 NEWS -- ANOTHER COUNT OF GEORGIA BALLOTS STARTS TODAY. GEOFF: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP REQUESTED THE RECOUNT AFTER THE STATE FINISHED ITS AUDIT BY HAND AND CERTIFIED THE RESULTS. COUNTIES HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT NEXT TUESDAY TO FINISH. THE RECOUNT WILL BE DONE ELECTRONICALLY. THREE WEEKS AFTER ELECTION DAY AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NOW RECOGNIZED JOE BIDEN AS THE APPARENT WINNER OF THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE. DANA: MATT PRICHARD IS IN OUR EXCLUSIVE WASHINGTON BUREAU. MATT, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE TRANSITION PROCESS? MATT: THIS PAVES THE WAY FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN'S TEAM AND KEY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ON MONDAY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FORMALLY ACKNOWLEDGED JOE BIDEN AS THE 2020 ELECTION WINNER FREEING UP FEDERAL FUNDS TO ASSIST IN THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER. ADMINISTRATOR EMILY MURPHY SENT A LETTER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN SAYING THEY WERE READY TO PROVIDE RESOURCES AND SERVICES AFTER RECENT DEVELOPMENTS INVOLVING LEGAL CHALLENGES AND CERTIFICATIONS OF ELECTION RESULTS. A JUDGE IN PENNSYLVANIA TOSSED OUT A CASE FROM THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN REQUESTING A HALT TO VOTE CERTIFICATION AND IN MICHIGAN VOTES HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED, SEALING A BIDEN VICTORY IN THE STATE. >> WE'RE ABLE TO HAVE A REPUBLICAN ON THIS BOARD AS WELL AS BOTH DEMOCRATS PUT OUR DEMOCRACY FRONT AND CENTER AND NOT GET UP IN PARTISAN POLITICS. MATT: PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETED LAST NIGHT SAYING THIS DOESN'T MEAN LEGAL CHALLENGES ARE OVER AND HE'S CONFIDENT THEY'LL PREVAIL BUT FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY THESE STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN. IN WASHINGTON, MATT PRICHARD, WYFF NEWS 4. GEOFF: 6:48 NOW. RIGHT NOW GREENVILLE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A DEADLY CRASH INVOLVING A POLICE OFFICER. DANA: IT HAPPENED ON WADE HAMPTON BOULEVARD JUST BEFORE NOON MONDAY. THE CORONER SAYS 76-YEAR-OLD ISABEL FOLWELL WAS TRYING TO TURN INTO THE WALMART PARKING LOT. POLICE SAY THAT'S WHEN SHE GOT INTO THE PATH OF THAT OFFICER WHO WAS RESPONDING TO A STOLEN VEHICLE CALL. THE OFFICER HAD MINOR INJURIES. WELL, THERE'S A NEW STATEWIDE MASK REQUIREMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA. GEOFF: YEAH, UNDER GOVERNOR ROY COOPER'S NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER, YOU NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHEN YOU'RE WITH SOMEONE WHO YOU DON'T LIVE WITH AND WHERE YOU'RE IN ANY PUBLIC INDOOR SPACE EVEN WHEN YOU'RE SIX FEET AWAY FROM OTHERS, WHILE YOU'RE EXERCISING AT A GYM AND ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND WHILE TRAVELING. DANA: IF YOU OWN OR GO TO A BUSINESS THAT'S LARGER THAN 15,000 SQUARE FEET, AN EMPLOYEE MUST BE STATIONED NEAR THE ENTRANCES TO ENFORCE OCCUPANCY LIMITS AND MASK MANDATES. GEOFF: NORTH CAROLINA REPORTED AN ALL-TIME HIGH WITH 1601 PEOPLE IN THE HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW FOR COVID-19. SOUTH CAROLINA DHEC CONFIRMED MORE THAN A THOUSAND NEW CASES. 10.7% OF THE MORE THAN 10,000 TESTS WERE POSITIVE. DANA: DHEC ALSO CONFIRMED FIVE MORE DEATHS. NONE WERE IN THE UPSTATE. SOUTH CAROLINA'S DEATH TOLL IS APPROACHING 4,000. IN NORTH CAROLINA, 5,039 PEOPLE HAVE DIED. GEORGIA IS REPORTING 8,644 DEATHS. GEOFF: MIRACLE HILLS MINISTRIES WILL FRY 600 TURKEYS FOR PEOPLE IN NEED. DANA: WYFF NEWS 4'S TAGGART HOUCK GOT THE LUCKY ASSIGNMENT OF THE MORNING. HE IS LIVE AT MIRACLE HILLS SPARTANBURG RESCUE MISSION THIS MORNING. TAG, HOW ARE YOU DOING OUT THERE? TAGGART: DANA, WE HAD STRAWS, RIGHT? I DREW THE GOOD ONE THIS MORNING. OK. HOW ABOUT THIS? WE ARE HERE IN SPARTANBURG AT MIRACLE HILL. YOU'LL NOTICE WE'VE GOT ALL THE FRYERS BEHIND ME. THE SMOKE COMING UP. YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO SEE SOME OF THE FLAMES HERE GETTING THIS ALL HEATED. MY FRIEND RUSTY DANIELS IS STANDING BY. HE'S BEEN WAITING FOR US. RUSTY, YOU'VE GOT THAT TURKEY RIGHT THERE. HE'S BEEN DOING THIS SINCE THE BEGINNING. LOOK AT THIS RIGHT HERE. JUST ONE OF THE MANY TURKEYS. WE'RE COOKING OVER 500 TURKEYS TODAY. OH, YEAH, YOU CAN HEAR THAT SIZZLE. THIS IS GREAT. AS HE PUTS THAT UP -- LIKE YOU SAID, RUSTY, IT SHOOTS THROUGH. THE OIL KEEPS -- >> THIS IS A LOT BIGGER TURKEY. IT MAY BUBBLE. YOU GOT SMELL IN THAT MICROPHONE? TAGGART: WE SHOULD INVEST IN SMELL-O-VISION. THIS IS GREAT STUFF RIGHT HERE. YOU CAN DEFINITELY HEAR THAT SIZZLE. THE FOLKS AT HOME ARE GETTING THE IDEA. THEY KNOW WHAT THAT SOUNDS LIKE. PRETTY SOON HE'S GOING TO CAP THAT OFF. YOU'VE GOT THE LID THAT HE'LL PUT IN THERE. BUT, MAN, OH, MAN, RUSTY, HOW MANY TURKEYS HAVE YOU LOWERED SO FAR INTO THIS? >> I THINK WE'RE UP TO -- TAGGART: HE'S COMING UP. WE'LL CATCH UP WITH HIM ON THAT. RUSTY, THANK YOU. THE BENEFIT HERE IS INCREDIBLE. YOU'VE GOT ABOUT 2500 FAMILIES THAT ARE GOING TO BE GETTING THAT TURKEY MEAL AND REALLY THIS EVENT KEEPS GROWING EACH YEAR DESPITE COVID-19. THEY ARE KEEPING PEOPLE DISTANCED AND SAFE, BUT THE EFFORT HERE IS STRONG AS IT HAS BEEN IN YEARS PAST. FOR NOW IN SPARTANBURG, TAGGART HOUCK, WYFF NEWS 4. DANA: A REMINDER FROM GOVERNOR HENRY MCMASTER TO GET YOUR COVID TEST BEFORE CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF FREE TESTING SITES ACROSS THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA. GEOFF: THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA IS CHANGING UP COVID-19 TESTING IN THE SPRING. THEY WILL REQUIRE STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF TO GET TESTED AT LEAST ONCE EVERY 30 DAYS. THIS APPLIES TO EVERYONE WHO SPENDS TIME ON CAMPUS. DANA: WOMEN'S BASKETBALL IS KICKING OFF THE WEEK. THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT'S WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM IS PAUSING ALL ACTIVITIES. A MEMBER OF THE PROGRAM TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID. TEAM ACTIVITIES WILL REMAIN ON HOLD FOR AT LEAST 14 DAYS. FLORIDA A&M BASKETBALL'S OPTS OUT OF THE 2021 SEASON OUT OF CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS. GEOFF: ROMAINE HEARTS ARE BEING RECALLED BECAUSE OF E. COLI. THEY HAVE HARVEST DATES OF OCTOBER 23 AND 26. THEY ARE PROBABLY NO LONGER ON STORE SHELVES. NO ONE HAS GOTTEN SICK. DANA: G.M. IS RECALLING SEVEN MILLION VEHICLES WORLDWIDE AFTER LOSING A FOUR-YEAR BATTLE WITH LEGISLATORS. THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION SAYS THE TAKATA AIRBAGS IN THE VEHICLES ARE DANGEROUS. THEY'RE LINKED TO 1700 DEATHS AND THE LARGEST AUTO RECALL IN HISTORY. A NEW AMUSEMENT PARK IS COMING TO MYRTLE BEACH. THE FUNPLEX IS AT OCEAN BOULEVARD AND 15TH BOULEVARD NORTH. IT WILL HAVE THRILL RIDES, A WALK-UP BAR AND RESTAURANTS. FUNPLEX ALREADY HAS TWO PARKS IN

Upstate police searching for missing man believed to be in early stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Updated: 8:17 AM EST Nov 24, 2020

Police in Calhoun Falls are searching for a missing man they believe is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.James Durrance, 79, of Anderson, was last seen Monday on West Russell Lake Boulevard in Calhoun Falls. Police believe he may have been heading toward Anderson in a maroon Dodge Grand Caravan with license plate RWG-697.Durrance was last seen wearing a blue jacket with "Jim" written on it and blue pants. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Police in Calhoun Falls are searching for a missing man they believe is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

James Durrance, 79, of Anderson, was last seen Monday on West Russell Lake Boulevard in Calhoun Falls.

Police believe he may have been heading toward Anderson in a maroon Dodge Grand Caravan with license plate RWG-697.

Durrance was last seen wearing a blue jacket with "Jim" written on it and blue pants. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Link:
Upstate police searching for missing man believed to be in early stages of Alzheimer's Disease - WYFF4 Greenville

A New US Patent Has Been Issued for The Prevention And/or Treatment of Dementia – Iosco County News Herald

Posted: at 1:54 am


BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Memory Health LLC and The Howard Foundation Holding LTD announce the issuance of a groundbreaking US Patent FOR THE PREVENTION AND/OR TREATMENT OF NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE [a method for the prevention and/or treatment of dementia in a human subject].

United States Patent10,835,509 was issued November 17, 2020 and represents a massive milestone for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative disease. Finally, there is asafe, natural, and proven solution based on level 1 evidence, to help patients afflicted with neurodegenerative disease and/or those desiring to reduce the risk of such a diagnosis.

The recently departed Professor Alan Howard and his co-inventors Professor John Nolan and Doctor Riona Mulcahy comprised the scientific team who brought forth this groundbreaking discovery leading to the patent on the prevention and/or treatment ofneurodegenerative disease, which focuses on the leading cause of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This patent is the result of top-level science beginning with the 2018 discovery that Xanthophyll Carotenoids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids combined have a significant positive impact on memory, mood, and the patient's quality of life.Nolan, J.M., et al.,Nutritional Intervention to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Benefits of Xanthophyll Carotenoids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Combined.J Alzheimer's Dis, 2018.64(2): p. 367-378.

Clinical studies demonstrated that this discovery brings a safe and effective nootropic supplement to those patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. This state-of-the-art supplement called MEMORY HEALTH stands as the only natural and proven nootropic patented for preventionand/or treatment ofneurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

"Too many treatments and products have either failed to deliver on their promises or are promoting low level questionable science that does not achieve results," says Edward Shehab, Co-Manager and Partner. "Having lost my mother to Alzheimer's and witnessed her forgetting me, my family, and the memories that filled her life, I am proud to be involved with a product based on the most impressive body of science to date and ingredients that provide real results."

"The science behind Memory Health's ingredients and their crucial role in brain health is now recognized and validated by many sources, all independent from one another. We know that targeted nutrition is the key to health and wellness," concluded Shehab. Dietary carotenoids related to risk of incident Alzheimer dementia (AD) and brain AD neuropathology: a community-based cohort of older adults Changzheng Yuan,Hui Chenet al. Am J Clin Nutr 2020 Nov 12;nqaa303. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa303

George Perry, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease stated: "The real breakthrough in Alzheimer's disease in this decade is the demonstration that lifestyle can greatly reduce your risk: exercise, stress reduction and nutrition all work together. Carotenoids and Omega 3s are important components of a diet to reduce risk of the disease."

In 2018, a team of scientists asked the most important question: Why do trials for Alzheimer's disease drugs keep failing? "The conclusions presented included methodology, rating, and targeting issues, but the most concerning conclusions were that treatments were either too late or focused on disease modification rather than symptom remission," says Frederic Jouhet, Co-Manager and Partner. "These are degenerative diseases," continues Jouhet, "and the only logical method to address them is to provide an anti-degenerative cocktail of nutrients required by our bodies, early in life, in order to alter the effect of the cost of doing business with life; degeneration. We know it is never too early to start, but science tells us it can be too late. Why do trials for Alzheimer's disease drugs keep failing? A discontinued drug perspective for 20102015 Dev Mehta, Robert Jackson et al. expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2017 June ; 26(6): 735739. doi:10.1080/13543784.2017.1323868

This is the second patent Memory Health has received for the prevention and/or treatment of neurodegenerative disease. A similar patent was awarded in the United Kingdom [#GB2568986].

About Memory Health LLC:Memory Health is a Michigan company. It is a research based, leading company in the nootropic supplement industry. Memory Health has a robust business to consumer based sales platform, while simultaneously having agreements in place with distributors and medical facilities in the United States and Europe. Memory Health is expanding into leading pharmacies and stores nationwide.

In Memoriam:Professor Alan Norman Howard (1929-2020)Margaret Rose Shehab (1925-2019)

To place an order or speak with a Memory Health supplement specialist, call 833-863-6679.

Media Contact:

Edward J Shehab, Managing Partner259794@email4pr.com248-430-5309

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A New US Patent Has Been Issued for The Prevention And/or Treatment of Dementia - Iosco County News Herald

Scientists Are Looking Into The Eyes Of Patients To Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease – Forbes

Posted: at 1:54 am


Close-up of woman's eye and eyelashes.

With artificial intelligence (AI), researchers have moved toward diagnosing Parkinson's disease with, essentially, an eye exam. This relatively cheap and non-invasive method could eventually lead to earlier and more accessible diagnoses.

Specific changes within the brain signify Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative brain diseases (diseases characterized by progressive death of brain cells). But healthcare providers have few affordable or noninvasive ways to diagnose these conditions. Because of this, neurodegenerative diseases in the brain are primarily diagnosed only once symptoms appear.

Even then, diagnosis might involve expensive brain imaging tests patients cant afford. Although these diseases arent currently curable, earlier, cheaper diagnosis could help patients and their families prepare for more advanced disease symptoms like dementia which can improve quality of life.

In recent years, scientists have been developing new diagnostic methods by looking through an easily accessible peephole to the brain: the retina of the human eye.

"The retina is a window to the brain," said Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, who researches early diagnosis and therapies for Alzheimer's disease at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. The retina, the layer of nerve cells at the back of the eye, is an extension of the brain, and sends visual information to the neural areas responsible for sight. The retina is also easy for doctors and scientists to see with affordable, noninvasive digital imaging.

In one of the latest efforts to find signs of disease through that window, scientists from the University of Florida have tested a new technique using machine learning to identify patients with Parkinson's disease from images of their retinas. The findings, presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, show that machine learning algorithms can be useful in identifying patients with Parkinson's, picking out signs of disease in images of the small blood vessels of the retina.

"There were already a number of studies [showing] that the vasculature in the retina reflected the etiology, or disease in the brain," said Ruogu Fang, director of the Smart Medical Informatics Learning and Evaluation Lab at the University of Florida, and senior researcher of this new study.

In Parkinson's disease, neurons that produce the chemical dopamine, which is associated with motivation and involved in motion, die. People can experience movement problems earlier in disease that worsen over time, and may develop dementia in the advanced stages of disease. As Parkinson's progresses, the blood vessels in the eye shrink, making these vessels a reasonable target for a marker of disease.

Fang and her research team used two datasets of retinal images of patients with and without Parkinson's disease to see if certain machine learning networks couldtease apart which patients had Parkinson's and which patients did not based on the appearance of retinal blood vessels. The group used a neural network to pick out the blood vessels in the retinal images, and a second type of machine learning called support vector machines to determine whether or not the vessels show signs of Parkinson's disease.

They also put these images through another step, increasing the contrast to see if that could make their networks even more accurate at figuring out which images showed signs of disease. Editing the images this way revealed more small blood vessels that appeared far fainter in the original images.

The first dataset included 238 retinal images from the U.K. Biobank from known Parkinson's disease patients and a control group of 238 images from patients of similar demographics, without Parkinson's disease. The second, smaller dataset was collected from Parkinson's disorder patients at the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center and included 72 Parkinson's disease images and 72 control images.

When the researchers raised the contrast in the images and ran each dataset through the deep learning and different types of support vector machine networks, the most successful networks could identify which images came from Parkinson's disease patients with over 70% accuracy.

These are nice numbers for accuracy, said Koronyo-Hamaoui, who was not involved in the study. Its a promising set of data, but, she added, with the caveat that changes in blood vessels are common to other neurodegenerative diseases. To make a definitive diagnosis, a doctor would need to know more about whats happening in the brain.

But Fang said that their next step is further testing this method and figuring out what specific characteristics of the blood vessels signify Parkinsons disease.

This work is part of a broader effort among researchers to use the eye as a window into the brain. Koronyo-Hamaoui and her lab have also been working to develop noninvasive diagnostics using retinal imaging, but for Alzheimer's disease, which is associated with a buildup of proteins called amyloid beta plaques in the brain.

Koronyo-Hamaoui's most recent work, a small study published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, showed that the more amyloid beta in a certain region of the retina, the smaller their hippocampus, a brain structure important for memory and heavily affected in Alzheimer's disease. Death of cells in the hippocampus leads to memory issues, a common symptom of the disease. The amount of retinal plaques was also related to the patients' cognitive symptoms. Patients with more retinal plaques had lower scores on assessments measuring cognitive domains like attention and memory.

Currently, no eye exam or retinal imaging method can be used to diagnose Alzheimers or Parkinsons diseases, but many are being tested in patients. Right now there are a lot of clinical trials, Koronyo-Hamaoui said.

If and when retinal imaging methods are approved for diagnosis, it could allow clinicians to catch signs of disease earlier and expand access for people who cant afford diagnosis with other expensive tests and brain scans. At the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center, for example, the researchers didnt even need professional ophthalmologic equipment, let alone pricey brain scans. They used an iPhone with a special lens attachment to take pictures of the retina.

Koronyo-Hamaoui thinks the scientific community might be close to bringing eye-imaging diagnostic methods to the clinic, to the benefit of patients and healthcare providers. It will be so much easier and so much more affordable, she said.

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Scientists Are Looking Into The Eyes Of Patients To Diagnose Parkinson's Disease - Forbes

Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative launches new AD Workbench to foster greater global research innovation and accelerate breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s…

Posted: November 23, 2020 at 6:55 am


Launching is the Alzheimers Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) and its Alzheimers disease (AD) Workbench, a cloud-based platform for scientists to accelerate discoveries and innovations for AD and related dementias. ADDI is a new global effort that aims to advance AD innovation by connecting researchers with the data needed to generate insights and inform the development of improved treatments and diagnostic tools. ADDI, a 501(c)(3) medical research organization, was created by a coalition of partners to increase sharing of dementia-related data among researchers and provide new ways to experiment with the most trusted datasets.

For decades, scientists have made limited progress in Alzheimers research and therapeutics, even though Alzheimers is a leading cause of death around the world with care estimated to cost more than $1 trillion annually. Now more than ever, greater data sharing is needed to spark innovative discoveries in AD research. Advancement is possiblelimited access to data should not be a barrier.

The idea for ADDI was initiated in 2018, after Bill Gates brought together a coalition of partners interested in improving AD and related dementias data sharing with the aim of moving innovation further and faster toward better treatments and diagnostic tools.

The need for new and more effective treatments for Alzheimers disease has never been greater. A better understanding of the disease will help us detect and diagnose it earlier. It should be easier for people to find, enroll and stay in clinical trials, and we must accelerate the pace of discovery and innovation. Data can play a critical role in breakthroughs, said Bill Gates. Data is a tremendously powerful tool that can be better harnessed to understand and reduce the impact of AD. Its what the AD Workbench is designed to do.

The AD Workbench will facilitate interoperability across data platforms and enable researchers to work with multiple datasets. With a federated model of data sharing, the AD Workbench allows permissioned researchers to import their datasets, access, and transfer data from other platforms. It also allows them to work securely with anonymized datasets that are unable to be transferred due to data privacy, regulation and local laws. Within the platform, users have a personalized workspace where they can ensure quality control, harmonize data, and analyze data within the platform. Soon the AD Workbench will provide researchers and data scientists with the ability to share code and crowdsource ideas.

There are no limits to the innovation that can arise from researchers working together with more data than ever before, said ADDI Executive Director Tetsu Maruyama. Thats what makes the Workbench so exciting and its just the beginning. The Workbench will continue to evolve with input and data from the research community, allowing scientists to work with new tools and more data.

The Workbench will increase access to many types of data that will both speed our basic understanding of AD and related dementias and progress toward new treatments by:

There is tremendous power in data sharing and the ability to harmonize data across multiple groups, said Dr. Reisa Sperling, Director, Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment, Brigham and Womens Hospital. The AD Workbench will make it easier to access and explore data in new ways and expand collaboration opportunities.

ADDI will foster an environment that supports and facilitates researchers abilities to share data by providing resources. In addition to the AD Workbench, ADDI has collated existing tools and created new tools that will help researchers navigate regulatory frameworks and policies that are often barriers to data sharing. ADDI will also provide grants to fund researchers and organizations that seek to expand data access and sharing using the AD Workbench. Increasing access to the best and most trusted datasets is one of the most effective ways to accelerate progress toward more effective treatments, and the diagnostics that can help physicians and people with dementia. Together, these breakthroughs will drastically reduce the impact of AD on patients, their families, and the healthcare system.

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Alzheimer's Disease Data Initiative launches new AD Workbench to foster greater global research innovation and accelerate breakthroughs in Alzheimer's...

Alzheimers Q&A: How can we manage the upcoming holiday season? – The Advocate

Posted: at 6:55 am


Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or dementia is highly stressful, and getting through the holiday season can be particularly difficult.

It is most likely that the holidays will take on a different look this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, which may be stressful in and of itself. Relatives may opt out of traveling to loved ones homes and families may consider smaller celebrations.

Virtual holiday gatherings are now being promoted so families can communicate through that platform and stay safe and healthy through the process.

Whatever is planned for the holiday, caregivers should stay within the CDC recommendations, making sure their loved ones are not put in an environment that could put them at risk for the coronavirus.

If gatherings are planned, be aware that too much external stimulation, whether it's from visitors or activities, can lead to physical and/or emotional exhaustion.

The key to maintaining a sense of balance during this time includes giving caregivers some respite by soliciting assistance from family and friends.

Though sometimes difficult during the holidays, keeping a structured routine eases anxiety, reduces boredom and promotes a greater sense of well-being for someone with the disease.

Involving all the senses in activities stimulates the affected individual physically and emotionally and gives him or her a sense of connection and purpose. Decorating for Thanksgiving and later for Christmas, baking traditional recipes, assisting with meal preparation and cleanup are all ways to include someone with Alzheimers in holiday celebrations.

Tangible things like photo albums or scrapbooks should be on hand to engage and distract the affected individual when he or she is getting anxious. Play favorite tunes he or she enjoys. Use aromatherapy for a calm environment.

Caregivers can enlist the help of their loved ones with signing holiday greeting cards and/or having their loved one put stamps on the envelopes. And, during this time of year of indulgent foods, a good balance between nutrition and physical activities is recommended. A daily walk, weather permitting, does wonders as a stress buster and helps with movement and well-being.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season can be an enjoyable, enriching time for caregivers, their loved ones and friends and family. Caregivers can prepare relatives and friends ahead of time regarding their loved ones changes in appearance, memory, particular stressors, or behaviors, and encourage their visits, though not all at one time.

It is good to adapt old family traditions so that everyone can be comfortable and at ease keeping that sense of family identity and belonging. Holding fast to that joy in the present moment and letting go of perfections and high expectations are the keys to maintaining a healthy and happy balance during the holiday season.

Questions about Alzheimer's disease or related disorders can be sent to Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, owner of Dana Territo Consulting, LLC, at thememorywhisperer@gmail.com.

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Alzheimers Q&A: How can we manage the upcoming holiday season? - The Advocate

New insights from study of people age 90 and above – CBS News

Posted: at 6:55 am


We're a nation living longer and longer. Over the next 30 years, the number of Americans age 90 and above is expected to triple, and an NIH-funded research study called 90+ at the University of California Irvine is trying to learn all it can right now from a group of men and women who've already managed to get there.

Six years ago, we first reported on their first set of findings.

Factors associated with longer life: exercise, moderate drinking of alcohol and caffeine, social engagement, and our favorite: putting on a few pounds as we age. The 90+ study's focus is now on memory and dementia. What they've learned -- and what they haven't -- drew us back, as did the 90+ers. Take a quick look at when we first met them in 2014.

[2014]Ted Rosenbaum: My birthday is February 7th, 1918.

[2014]Lou Tirado: I was born on August 25th, 1920, and I'm 93+.

[2014]Ruthy Stahl: June 15, 1918, and it was, I'm sure, a lovely day. (LAUGH)

The men and women we met 6 years ago had all agreed to be checked out by the 90+ Study team, top to bottom, every six months -- their facial muscles, how they walk, how fast they can stand up and sit down and, critically, how they think.

[2014]TESTER: Now spell world backwards.Jane Whistler: D-L-R-O-W

They were an impressive and active group -- a B-17 gunner in World War II, a fellow World War II vet who drove a convertible, a 95-year-old speed walker, ballroom dancers.

[2014]Henry Tornell: I asked them, "Aren't you gonna ask us any questions about our sex life?" And they said no.Helen Weil: (LAUGHTER)

And sadly, some who had begun to struggle with dementia.

[2014]TESTER: What is today's date?Ted Rosenbaum: Today's date?TESTER: Uh-huh.Ted Rosenbaum: Today's date?

Lesley Stahl: What's the oldest person you have seen?

Dr. Claudia Kawas: I have seen several 116-year-olds.

Neurologist Claudia Kawas, the 90+ Study's lead investigator, says studying the oldest old is increasingly important.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: Half of all children born today in the United States and Europe is going to reach their 103rd or 104th birthday.

Lesley Stahl: Half?

Dr. Claudia Kawas: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Half the children born today are gonna live to 100?

Dr. Claudia Kawas: To 103 or 104.

Helen Weil: You know, I don't feel a day older than I was yesterday.

They invited us back 6 years later, and we found some study participants like Helen Weil, the ballroom dancer, thriving.

Now 99, Helen showed us how she exercises in her chair.

Lou Tirado, the World War II gunner, turned 100 in August. Lou is using zoom. When he was a kid, most homes didn't have a radio.

Lesley Stahl: Do you have an iPhone?

Lou Tirado: I have an iPhone.

Lesley Stahl: Are you on Facebook?

Lou Tirado: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Do you use Siri?

Helen Weil: Yeah, I tell her every evening, "Wake me up at 6:30 tomorrow morning."

Lesley Stahl: And she does?

Helen Weil: Yeah. Yes. (LAUGH)

TESTER: Who is our current president?Lou Tirado: President is Trump.TESTER: Who was the president before Trump? Lou Tirado: Obama

Because of COVID-19, the 90+ Study is doing cognitive tests by phone.

TESTER: Subtract 7 from 100.

Lou and Helen aced them.

TESTER: And keep subtracting 7.Helen Weil: 93, 86, 79..

Dr. Claudia Kawas: Her memory is better than mine. (LAUGH)

But one of our favorite 90+er's from six years ago, Ruthy Stahl, is not so lucky. Back then, at 95, she was zipping around in her lime green bug, but today, at 102, she didn't remember our having met.

Ruthy Stahl: And what is your first name?

Lesley Stahl: Lesley.

Ruthy Stahl: That's a nice name.

Lesley Stahl: Thank you.

Ruthy is as charming and upbeat as ever, but her memory is failing.

TESTER: The current president, or the president before him, I'll take either.Ruthy: No, I can't.

Lesley Stahl: Do you remember your parents?

Ruthy Stahl: No.

Lesley Stahl: No? Oh, my.

Ruthy Stahl: That's funny I don't remember them.

Lesley Stahl: Is it frustrating when you can't remember?

Ruthy Stahl: No.

Lesley Stahl: No?

Ruthy Stahl: It just passes on to something else. (LAUGHTER)

Dr. Kawas says most people, probably even most doctors, would assume Ruthy's memory problems stem from Alzheimer's disease. But scientists are finding out more and more about the complexities of what causes dementia.

Lesley Stahl: You hear people say, "She got Alzheimer's. He has Alzheimer's," when they really should say dementia.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: That's exactly right. Dementia is a loss of thinking abilities that affects your memory, your language. It's a syndrome. It's a syndrome kind of like headache is a syndrome. You can have a headache because you've got a brain tumor or you can have one because you drank too much, and it's the same with dementia.

We were sad to learn that some of the 90+ participants we met in 2014 have passed away, but by donating their brains, as Ted Rosenbaum did, they are very much still part of the study, contributing some of its most fascinating, and confounding, results.

After a participant dies, the 90+ team gathers to review mounds of data. Now, because of COVID, they gather on zoom.

Ted's test results showed years of memory problems, as we had seen six years ago. The 90+ team concluded that Ted probably had Alzheimer's disease, but then awaited results from their collaborators, a team of pathologists at Stanford University, who independently examined Ted's brain.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: They don't know anything except the brain they've got in front of them.

Lesley Stahl: And then you come together.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: And then we come together and it's like a reveal party.

The definition of Alzheimer's disease is having the proteins amyloid and tau, often called plaques and tangles, in the brain.

But when the Stanford team made their report, Ted's brain didn't have either.

Doctor: As you may see without even zooming in, the section is clear, it's clean. We're negative for beta amyloid here.

Claudia: It actually looks awfully good.

Doctor: It actually does, yes.

Lesley Stahl: You sit around, you look at that--what do you conclude?

Dr. Claudia Kawas: The only pathology we found in his head actually was TDP-43.

TDP-43. A breakthrough. It's a newly identified cause of dementia, a protein originally found in ALS patients that Kawas now believes accounts for up to one in five cases of dementia in people over 90.

Lesley Stahl: Can you find out if you have TDP-43 while you're alive?

Dr. Claudia Kawas: Not yet.

And you can't find out if you have two other dementia-causing conditions either -- tiny strokes called microinfarcts that damage brain tissue, and hippocampal sclerosis -- a shrinking and scarring of part of the brain. So it's likely that many people in their 90's who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's may actually have something else.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: There's a whole lot of stuff that goes on in the brain, that we have no way of diagnosing during life. So, we get a lot of those surprises, but we also get surprises where people have an awful lot of pathology in their brain, a lot of Alzheimer's disease, a lot of TDP disease. And they still turn out to be normal.

Henry Tornell: Let me hold the chair for you.

That's what happened with Henry Tornell, Helen Weil's ballroom dancing partner who joked about studying sex over 90. Henry died at 100 of cancer -- mentally sharp as ever.

But his brain told a different story.

Doctor: Beta amyloid, I don't even have to zoom in. Florid. Very positive. Positive as well.

The Stanford team found the highest level of plaques and tangles -- and TDP-43. Especially stunning, since more than one pathology typically means more severe dementia.

Lesley Stahl: So he was a huge surprise.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: He was one of our surprising 90-year-olds who managed to have good cognition in the face of things in their brain that should cause dementia.

It used to be that when a person like Henry with clear thinking was found to have plaques and tangles, scientists assumed dementia was just a matter of time. But now they're thinking about it in a new way -- that maybe certain people have protection against dementia, a phenomenon they're calling "resilience." To prove it, though, they need to follow people who are still alive. Enter convertible-driving Sid Shero from our story in 2014.

Sid had a PET scan back then for the study, which revealed significant amounts of amyloid in his brain. The question was, would dementia be around the corner, or might sid somehow be "resilient?"

Sid turned 99 this summer.

Lesley Stahl: How old do you feel?

Sid Shero: I always say 69.

Sid has circulation problems that affect his breathing, but his memory? Well, he told us about buying his first car 80 years ago, for $18, in a pool hall.

Sid Shero: A '31 Chevy convertible with a rumble seat.

Lesley Stahl: A rumble seat!

Sid Shero: And I didn't know how to drive.

Lesley Stahl: You won it in a pool hall. Did you win it on a bet--

Sid Shero: I didn't win it. I bought it--

Lesley Stahl: You bought it?

Sid Shero: I gave him $18.

Lesley Stahl: Who sold a car for $18?

Sid Shero: He needed the money to shoot pool.

Dr. Claudia Kawas: So I know he's got at least two pathologies in his head. I know he's got, you know, probably high amounts of Alzheimer's, and I know he's got some vascular disease. And we tested him just a couple of weeks ago and he did great.

TESTER: Please tell me how many nickels in a dollar?Sid Shero: 20.TESTER: How many quarters in six dollars and 75 cents?Sid Shero: 27.TESTER: Wow, you are quick!

Lesley Stahl: So is that resilience?

Dr. Claudia Kawas: I think that is definitely resilience. Sid might be what resilience is all about.

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New insights from study of people age 90 and above - CBS News

64-Year-Old Man With Alzheimer’s Disease Missing From West Covina – MyNewsLA.com

Posted: at 6:55 am


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A Silver Alert was issued Friday afternoon for a 64-year-old man who went missing in West Covina, suffers from Alzheimers disease and dementia, and may state that he is sent by God.

Donald Reed Tasker was last seen about 2 p.m. Thursday walking away from a home on East Brooktree Circle, in the area of Amar Road and South Lark Ellen Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol, which issued the alert on behalf of the West Covina Police Department. He was wearing a dark blue jacket, jeans, blue hat and black shoes.

Tasker is described as 6 feet tall, 110 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes, police reported.

If contacted, Donald may state that he is going to church or sent by God, police said.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts was urged to call the West Covina Police Department at 626-939-8500 or a 24-hour anonymous tip line 626-939-8688.

The Silver Alert program was established to issue and coordinate alerts involving the unexplained or suspicious disappearance of elderly, developmentally disabled and cognitively impaired individuals, according to the CHP.

64-Year-Old Man With Alzheimers Disease Missing From West Covina was last modified: November 20th, 2020 by Contributing Editor

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64-Year-Old Man With Alzheimer's Disease Missing From West Covina - MyNewsLA.com

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month – WBIR.com

Posted: November 19, 2020 at 3:55 pm


Today, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimers. By 2050, this number is projected to grow to more than 14 million.

GREENSBORO, N.C. November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. The purpose of each campaign is to educate the public about the life-altering disease as well as provide ongoing support to caregivers.

Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia. Its a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment. Alzheimers disease accounts for nearly 80% of dementia cases.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimers Awareness Month. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimers. Today, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimers. By 2050, this number is projected to grow to more than 14 million.

Statistics show more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimers or other dementias. These caregivers provided an estimated 18 billion hours of care valued at nearly $244 billion.

Unfortunately, caregivers frequently report experiencing high levels of stress. That includes denial, anger, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, irritability, and more. Health experts say caregivers should protect their mental health and manage stress properly.

The Alzheimers Association offers the following ways for caregivers to manage stress:

For more information about National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, visit the Alzheimer's Association website.

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November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month - WBIR.com

Does air pollution increase women’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease? – USC News

Posted: at 3:54 pm


Older women who live in locations with high levels of air pollution may have more Alzheimers-like brain shrinkage than women who live in places with cleaner air, according to a new USC study.

Researchers looked at fine particle pollution and found that breathing in high levels of this kind of air pollution was linked to shrinkage in the areas of the brain vulnerable to Alzheimers disease. The findings suggest that further tightening of air quality standards could potentially reduce the risk of dementia in older populations.

The research appears Wednesday in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Fine particle pollution, or PM2.5, consists of microscopic particles of chemicals, car exhaust, smoke, dust and other pollutants suspended in the air. The particles are 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair. When breathed in, they can reach deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream.

Over the last few years, the clinical neurology community has recognized late-life exposure to fine particles as an environmental risk factor for dementias including Alzheimers disease, but whether air pollution alters different brain structures that may increase an individuals dementia risk is still being researched, said lead author Diana Younan, a senior research associate in the department of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Our study found that women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 outdoors were more likely to have the pattern of brain atrophy that would increase their risk for Alzheimers disease over five years.

USC researchers have been closely investigating the link between air pollution, memory, depressive symptoms and Alzheimers as part of ongoing research. In 2017, USC researchers foundclear evidence of brain damage in animals exposed tovery tiny components ofPM2.5 particles, whichmayeasily and directly invade the brain, possibly bypassing its protective blood-brain barrier. A study earlier this year found that, among women in their 70s and 80s, fine particle pollution was associated with physical brain changes and that those changes were then connected to declines in memory.

The study involved 712 women with an average age of 78 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. Participants provided health histories as well as information on race/ethnicity, education, employment, alcohol use, smoking and physical activity. All of the women received MRI brain scans at the start of the study and five years later.

Researchers used the residential addresses of each participant to determine their average exposures to air pollution in the three years prior to the first MRI scan. They then divided participants into four equal groups based on their exposure. The lowest group was exposed to an average of 7 to 10 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air. The highest group was exposed to an average of 13 to 19 micrograms. The U.S. Environmental Pollution Agency considers average yearly exposures up to 12 micrograms to be safe.

Researchers used a machine learning tool to measure signs of Alzheimers disease in the brain. The tool had been trained to identify patterns of brain shrinkage specific to an increased risk of Alzheimers by reading brain scans of Alzheimers patients from the Alzheimers Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

Participants MRI brain scans at the start of the study and at five years later were assigned scores based on how similar they were to Alzheimers disease patterns identified by the machine learning tool. The tool specifically looked for changes in the brain regions that are vulnerable to Alzheimers. Scores ranged from 0 to 1, with higher scores showing more brain changes. Overall, the womens scores changed from an average of 0.28 at the start of the study to an average of 0.44 five years later.

For each 3-microgram increase in air pollution exposure levels, researchers found a 0.03-point increase in these brain shrinkage scores, that may increase their Alzheimers disease risk by 24% over five years.

The increases remained the same even after the scientists adjusted for age, education, employment, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, physical activity and other factors that could affect brain shrinkage.

Our findings have important public health implications because not only did we find brain shrinkage in women exposed to the highest levels of PM2.5 pollution but we also found it in women exposed to levels lower than those that the EPA considers safe, said Younan.

While more research is needed, federal efforts to tighten the air pollution exposure standards in the future may help reduce the risk of Alzheimers in our older populations.

Limitations of the study include that it only looked at the brains of older women, so results may not be the same for men or younger women.

In addition to Younan, other authors of the study are Xinhui Wang, Andrew J. Petkus, Margaret Gatz, Helena C. Chui and Jiu-Chiuan Chen, all of USC; Ramon Casanova, Ryan Barnard, Sarah A. Gaussoin, Santiago Saldana, Daniel P. Beavers, Bonnie C. Sachs, Mark A. Espeland, Sally A. Shumaker and Stephen R. Rapp, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Marc L. Serre and William Vizuete of the University of North Carolina; Susan M. Resnick of the National Institute on Aging; JoAnn E. Manson and Joel A. Salinas of Harvard University Medical School; and Victor W. Henderson of Stanford University.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (R21AG051113, R01AG033078, P01AG055367, R01ES025888) and the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center (5P30ES007048).

More stories about: Aging, Alzheimer's Disease, Pollution, Research

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Does air pollution increase women's risk of Alzheimer's disease? - USC News

SNUBH discovers causative gene of Alzheimer’s disease < Hospital < – KBR – Korea Biomedical Review

Posted: at 3:54 pm


A group of researchers at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital has found the gene involved in the occurrence of Alzheimers disease through a cohort study.

The team, led by Professor Park Young-ho of the Department of Neurology at the hospital, conducted a study of 661 people in the U.S. and 674 in Europe to discover that certain gene expressions related to inflammatory reactions from immune cells and virus infections can affect Alzheimers disease.

The disease accounts for 70 percent of dementias causes and appears in the form of brain shriveling due to dwindling nerve cells. It is a degenerative brain disease in which the cognitive functions, including memory, gradually worsen.

The researchers confirmed the Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) results to identify causative genes.

This method compares genetic information of a patient and non-patient group and finding genetic information related to the disease by appearing more frequently in the patient group.

The team first identified 22 genes closely related to Alzheimers disease using the GWAS method. Next, they summed up gene expressions in the blood. The team then assessed whether the differences in the amount of gene expressions could help diagnose Alzheimers disease and analyzed through which mechanism they get involved in the disease's occurrence.

As a result, the patient group showed a higher rate of genetic expressions than the normal group. In other words, more genes were expressed in the former group found to be related to Alzheimers when examined by the GWAS method.

Particularly, genes called CD33 and PILRA contribute greatly to the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease. In a healthy human body, dietary cells protect the body by feasting on unnecessary substances, which suppresses the development of Alzheimers, as food cells operate on the substances that cause the disease.

However, the team found that CD33 hinders these dietary cells' response to the immune system, leading to Alzheimers disease. Also, PILRA is known to assist the herpes simplex virus (HSV) penetrate cells and make the body more vulnerable to infections.

The research team expects to identify more causative genes of Alzheimers disease and develop prevention and possible cure.

All diseases have unique causative genes that vary from patients. Therefore, treatments become different, too. That is why we analyzed the differences in gene expression to establish a foundation for precision medical treatment, providing customized care by examining genetic and clinical information, and lifestyle of individuals, Professor Park said.

Since the study was conducted on Western people, there are limitations to applying it to Korean patients right away. Since genetic analysis results can racially vary, the research team plans to design follow-up studies for Korean patients and continue to check on Alzheimers disease diagnosis, he added.

The study results were published in the online September issue of Neurology Genetics from the American Academy of Neurology.

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SNUBH discovers causative gene of Alzheimer's disease < Hospital < - KBR - Korea Biomedical Review

If You Live in This State, You Could Be at a Higher Risk of Alzheimer’s – msnNOW

Posted: at 3:54 pm


Alzheimer's is one of the most rampant diseases in the United States, affecting more than five million people. It's the sixth-leading cause of death in the country, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but it's also one of the most confounding, with researchers constantly seeking answers as to what contributes to the illness. Now, they may have just found a new link: location. According to a new report, if you live in Texas, you could be at a higher risk of Alzheimer's. Read on to find out about the heightened risk in this state and others, and for more you should know about this disease, read up on How Well You Do This One Thing Predicts Your Alzheimer's Risk, Study Says.

A report released on Nov. 17 by UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the Urban Institute identified the counties with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's disease for Black, Latinx, and white Americans, drawing the results from Medicare data. Among the 25 counties where Alzheimer's is most prevalent for each race75 counties in totalTexas had the largest share, with more than a third of the worst-hit counties being in the state.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Gladys Maestre, MD, professor of neuroscience and human genetics at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research in Brownsville, says that's not surprising. According to Maestre, the southern part of Texas (where a majority of these counties are) is poor, largely rural, and has lower levels of education than many other regions. "That is definitely place-related," Maestre said.

"In South Texas there are very few services, that's the first thing. Services are based in acute care," she explained in a statement accompanying the report. "For people who are very poor, health is not their top priorityfood is, and even getting a TV working becomes a higher priority than going to a doctor, because it's a way to relieve the chronic stress of being poor. Every day you have to make the decision, 'What do I pay?' It's taxing."

David Satcher, MD, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, hopes more research on Alzheimer's risk and location will be done based on this report. In a statement, he said it "offers a unique perspective on how geography and the social determinants of health impact the prevalence and effects of Alzheimer's and related dementias."

For more states where your Alzheimer's risk could be heightened, according to the new report, read on, and for an update on the current health crisis in your area, find out How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State Right Now.

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If You Live in This State, You Could Be at a Higher Risk of Alzheimer's - msnNOW

New Report Reveals Deep Social Inequities in Counties Hard Hit by Alzheimer’s Disease Among Blacks and Latinos – PRNewswire

Posted: November 18, 2020 at 1:56 am


WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --A new report released today highlights the effects of where people live on their brain health, finding deep social inequities in counties most highly impacted by Alzheimer's disease among Latinos and Blacks.

The reportby UsAgainstAlzheimer's and the Urban Institute explores the social determinants of health in the counties most impacted by Alzheimer's among Latinos and Blacks in the Medicare Fee-for-Service program. It compared counties with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's among Blacks, Latinos, and non-Latino Whites against counties with the lowest prevalence among these populations to identify trends related to the social determinants of health and risk factors for Alzheimer's.

"This report offers a unique perspective on how geography and the social determinants of health impact the prevalence and effects of Alzheimer's and related dementias," said Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General. "It represents a critical step in broadening our nation's ability to identify high-impact, underserved areas and in directing resources and strategies where they are needed most to ensure the brain health of all communities."

Levels of education, income, and food insecurity, plus the state of the physical environment collectively known as social determinants of health are emerging as key influences on dementia risk. These factors are directly shaped by where people are born, raised, and live.

"Where people live matters when it comes to health disparities and social determinants of health, and the effects of these factors are under-recognized and under-appreciated in our national response to effectively treat and prevent Alzheimer's," said Jason Resendez, executive director of the UsAgainstAlzheimer's Center for Brain Health Equity and contributing author of the report.

Counties with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's among Blacks and Latinos are more likely to have worse social determinants of health compared to counties with the lowest prevalence of Alzheimer's among these communities.

For example, counties with the highest prevalence of Alzheimer's among these populations had:

"In recent years, research on Alzheimer's and related dementias has made great strides in increasing the understanding of the causes and origins of the disease, including genetic factors," said Stipica Mudrazija, Ph.D., the report's lead author and a senior research associate with the Urban Institute. "But there has been significantly less research on the impact of place and the social determinants of health that may shape Alzheimer's risk."

Understanding the geographic impacts of Alzheimer's is critical given the growing burden the disease is placing on families, the nation's healthcare system, and its economy. It is estimated that by 2030, nearly 40 percent of the more than 8 million Americans living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia will be Latino or Black.

"Social determinants of health represent potential barriers to Alzheimer's public health interventions and research access that must be addressed," said Stephanie Monroe, executive director of AfricanAmericansAgainsAlzheimer's, a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer's. "With further research and investment, a place-based framework that incorporates the social determinants of health could help improve access to brain-health-related health services, research opportunities and public health interventions for under-resourced communities."

This report is part of UsAgainstAlzheimer's larger strategy for driving brain health equity and builds on its recently established Center for Brain Health Equity, which is supported in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Brain Initiative.

About UsAgainstAlzheimer's

UsAgainstAlzheimer's (UsA2) is a disruptive advocacy and research-focused organization that is pushing for expanding treatments and accelerating towards a cure for Alzheimer's disease. UsA2's transformative programming is laser-focused on proactive brain health across the lifespan and understanding what matters most across the lived experiences of those affected by Alzheimer's in the service of preventing, treating and curing this disease. We are working to ensure that all communities have their voices heard and get a chance to be brain healthy from the earliest years while building resistance against possible cognitive decline.

Media Contact: Roger K. Lowe Chief Communications Officer UsAgainstAlzheimer's [emailprotected]

SOURCE UsAgainstAlzheimers

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New Report Reveals Deep Social Inequities in Counties Hard Hit by Alzheimer's Disease Among Blacks and Latinos - PRNewswire

Biogen And Alzheimer’s Disease: The Saga Continues – Seeking Alpha

Posted: at 1:56 am


Overall, the results of the [Emerge] study are highly persuasive and capable of providing the primary contribution to a demonstration of the substantial evidence of effectiveness of aducanumab.

Dr. Billy Dunn, FDA

It's the Texas sharpshooter fallacy - you shoot a bullet, then paint the target around it.

Dr. Scott Emerson, FDA advisory committee

The FDA and it advisory committee are at odds with each other. Both looking at the same data came to opposite conclusions. Biogen's (BIIB) hopes for its anti-amyloid drug aducanumab rests in the expectations that a solicitous FDA bolstered by the support of the Alzheimer's Association, other patient advocacy groups, caregivers, and patients themselves will approve the drug for Alzheimer's disease despite its very questionable efficacy. I still don't doubt that this is possible, but it has now become considerably more difficult. Many physicians would approve the use of the drug even if they thought that it was of limited efficacy (doctor survey). Even under pressure, however, it is questionable whether insurance companies would do the same.

It is certainly possible that a little longer exposure to the highest dose of aducanumab made the difference between the "successful" Emerge trial and the failed Engage trial. Given that the trials were nearly identical in every other way any other explanation seems rather tortured. I will stipulate then that the numbers from the Emerge trial are indeed accurate. However, and this is a critical point, the numbers changed because ApoE4 carriers were titrated up to the highest dose. The impact of aducanumab on non-ApoE4 carriers appears to be almost nil (analysis).

Some individuals with two copies of the ApoE4 gene taking aducanumab may have experienced a clinically significant slowdown in their cognitive decline. Two problems, though: this may have only been a marginal change and those individuals with two copies of the ApoE4 gene are the ones most likely to experience adverse side effects from aducanumab. This is not the type of treatment for Alzheimer's disease that most people are hoping for.

Even if the FDA does follow the advisory committee (and for what it is worth, they should), Biogen does still have some irons left in the Alzheimer's fire. Most notably is BAN2401 which unlike aducanumab preferentially targets amyloid oligomers over amyloid plaques. Such an approach may reduce the number of adverse side effects and be slightly more efficacious. For those hoping for more persuasive data from BAN2401, those hopes may well be misplaced (BAN2401 numbers).

Biogen has several other drugs in clinical trials for various neurological conditions, but even if a few of these are eventually successful, the blockbuster days for Biogen may be over for a while at least (barring again an FDA approval for aducanumab). Biogen's stock value should trade within a narrow range up to near the time of the FDA's decision. An FDA approval without conditions might result in a stock price above 400 whereas a thumbs down to the drug might result in a stock price under 200. The upside is higher, but the chances of that upside are lower. Such is the nature of things that are based on desired outcomes and not on science per se.

There is much to like about Biogen including its premier research scientists and its financial strength. But its actions regarding aducanumab engenders mistrust in the company. Biogen has strung people out (from investors to caregivers) with the tantalizing hope that it currently has the best answer to a devastating disease. It has withheld critical subgroup analysis (non-ApoE4 carriers versus ApoE4 carriers) that would likely give a much sharper picture in regards to the effectiveness of the drug. It has held off in purchasing other companies in the Alzheimer's field because it feels that it can get its own drugs approved by the FDA despite lackluster data. And the company has resurrected the idea that amyloid is the cause of Alzheimer's disease. None of this has served the public well.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Biogen And Alzheimer's Disease: The Saga Continues - Seeking Alpha

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