November 7, 2018

Today's Top Alzheimer's News


A November 7, 2018 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s statement announced the launch of the Campaign for Women’s Brain Health and 30-day Brain Health Challenge from WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s. Former First Lady Laura Bush joined the inaugural event, along with Woman’s Day Magazine, in urging women to "Be Brain Powerful" and take control of their brain health. According to Mrs. Bush, “It is so important that women start doing what we can to take care of our brains now, before we age. There is a fatalism about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Maybe there is good reason for this when you are in your 90s, like my Mom, but for others we must focus on and learn about the things we can do now to care for our brains. And that’s why I am grateful that WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s is raising awareness and doing vital sex-based research through their Be Brain Powerful Campaign.”


A November 6, 2018 Medscape article spotlighted the use of artificial intelligence to improve the ability of positron-emission tomography brain imaging to predict Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, “When the algorithm was tested on an independent set of 40 images from 40 never-studied patients, it achieved 100% sensitivity at detecting the disease an average of more than 6 years prior to the final diagnosis. “The key point of our study is that our algorithm not only successfully detects AD but actually detects it 6 years before the diagnosis is made,” corresponding author Jae Ho Sohn, MD, of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, told Medscape Medical News.” Also covered by EurekAlert! and Daily Mail.  


A November 6, 2018 Medical Xpress article focused on the link between Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Latest research points towards potentially protective or therapeutic interventions, such as exercise. According to Richard Wainford, PhD of Boston University School of Medicine, “The research presented today represents a growing understanding of two complex and related disorders. Knowledge of the neurobiology and mechanisms involved open the door to being able to identify dementia early, which offers hope of potential new treatments and interventions that could help patients and their families around the world.”


A November 6, 2018 NDTV article reported that coffee may have protective factors against developing Alzheimer's disease. A team at the Research Institute in Canada found that a group of compounds called phenylindanes, which emerge as a result of the roasting process, inhibits beta amyloid and tau from clumping, both major hallmarks of AD. Also covered by Times Now News and Health


(ICYMI) An October 8, 2018 Stanford Medicine Scope blog post by Lloyd Minor looked at the intersection between empathy and medicine. He co-taught a “Literature, Medicine, and Empathy" seminar with Rev. Professor Jane Shaw, examining why medical practitioners so frequently fail to practice empathy. According to Minor, “Empathy is a crucial tool that makes the incredibly hard job of being a doctor easier. The sooner our young doctors and other health professionals learn to use empathy to train their emotional muscles and build real connections with their patients and themselves, the better it will be for everyone.”


A November 6, 2018 The Telegraph article highlighted the latest message from the Health Secretary of the National Health Service (UK) about a culture shift from over-prescribing pills, toward “prevention and perspiration.” Included in his message is that music, in the form of prescribing “personal playlists,” can help dementia patients by reducing agitation, and their families. The National Academy for Social Prescribing will help to ensure that GPs refer patients for hobbies, sports and arts groups, to keep them active and fight loneliness.


A November 5, 2018 Deseret News Utah article spotlighted the Salt Palace Convention Center, which will light-up in teal to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. The annual program is part of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s “Light the World in Teal” campaign. Nearly 300 landmark sites across the country and around the world are “going teal.”