Alzheimer’s Research Update 19/02/18

Alzheimer’s Research Update 19/02/18

As an aside from GPS Trackers for dementia and Alzheimer’s, here you will find some of the more notable bits of news to emerge from Alzheimer’s research. The links take you to the original articles, in a new tab.

12/02/18 – Arthritis drugs could halve the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests

Drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could halve the risk of patients developing dementia, research suggests. A study by Oxford University and NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre analysed the records of more than 5,800 people living arthritis in the UK…. Read More on this story

30/01/18 – Brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s helps give life back to patients

A brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s disease is helping patients to dress themselves, cook and keep up hobbies which they feared losing forever. In a medical first, surgeons in the US implanted electrical wires into the frontal lobes of three people to stimulate their brain cells in the same way that a pacemaker regulates electrical activity in the heart… Read More on this story

24/01/18 – Tumeric may help lower Alzheimer’s risk

Turmeric – a common ingredient in Indian cuisine – may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by improving memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, a study claims. The research, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, examined the effects of an easily absorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in people without dementia, as well as curcumin’s potential impact on the microscopic plaques and tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease… Read More on this story

24/01/18 – Personality changes occur early on during development of Alzheimer’s disease, research finds

Researchers concluded that personality changes, which can lead to changes in behavior, occur early on during the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The behavioral changes, however, may be barely noticeable, and can include mood swings, depression, and anxiety… Read More on this story

15/01/18 – Salt-heavy diet increases the risk of Alzheimer’s by starving the brain of oxygen, new study finds

Experiments on mice and human cells suggest that salty foods trigger an inflammatory immune response that deprives the brain of oxygen and harms neurons, triggering behavioral and mental problems. Importantly, these effects were reversed by returning to a normal diet, providing evidence a change in lifestyle really does work… Read More on this story

02/01/18 – Gene Wilder’s widow on what it’s like to care for someone with Alzheimer’s

Karen Wilder opens up about her 35-year marriage to the late actor and activist Gene Wilder. The Willy Wonka star died last year at the age of 83, after battling Alzheimer’s disease in the final years of his life. Wilder discusses some of the trials and tribulations caregivers or spouses can experience when caring for someone living with the debilitating disease. These are her words… Read More on this story

01/01/18 – Alzheimer’s treatment: Diabetes drug holds promise for fighting disease after ‘significantly reversing’ memory loss

A drug developed for type 2 diabetes significantly reverses memory loss and could have potential as a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, scientists say… Read More on this story

There have been two recent breakthroughs for Alzheimer’s research – although its still early days for the results, and they will be more applicable to long term prevention than curing.

Chemical stops prion disease in mice

A chemical was found which, when tested on mice, was able to stop brain cells dying in those with prion disease. The researchers (Medical Council Toxicology Unit at University of Leicester, UK) believe that the chemical could be adapted to halt other neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s.

“I’m very excited. Its the first proof in any living animal that you can delay neurodegeneration. The world won’t change tomorrow, but this is a landmark study”.
Professor Roger Morris of King’s College London

Early detection made more possible

Another study made great progress in being able to detect the early signs of Alzheimer’s (Birmingham City University in collaboration with Lanzhou University, China). Researchers scanned the brains of patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), which will progress onto Alzheimer’s disease 80% of the time. The scans showed that a significant loss of grey matter in the brain’s left hemisphere consistently predicted a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Professor Mike Jackson believes such scans could serve as “alarm bells for doctors”.

This is fantastic news – the earlier that Alzheimer’s is spotted, the more than can be done to limit its damaging effects in the long term. This is especially so if the results of the first study lead to fruition in being able to halt the progress of the disease.

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