Michael Rafii M.D. Ph.D

Co-Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at UCSD Perlman Ambulatory Care Center in La Jolla, Assistant Professor of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, and Associate Medical Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, Dr. Rafii specializes in cognitive disorders, including dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. His current research interests include neuroimaging and clinical trials. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Brown University and conducted neurogenetics research at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rafii went on to complete his neurology residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and fellowship in Dementia and Cognitive Disorders at the University of California, San Diego.

Jan 132014
 
A Year in Review

In this first blog of 2014, I would like to review some of the highlights from the world of Alzheimer’s disease research in 2013, as well as the new directions that we will likely be heading in 2014. Advances in Brain Imaging  Advances in brain imaging, specifically amyloid PET scans, have led the way towards earlier identification of Alzheimer’s. Their widespread use in larger studies has made it possible to visualize the presence of beta-amyloid […]

Sep 252013
 
Is Alzheimer's Really Linked to Poor Dental Health?

British scientists recently reported finding signs of the gum-disease bacterium  (P. gingivalis) in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The new study is being widely reported as adding to a growing body of evidence linking periodontal (gum) disease to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, such data needs to be considered very carefully. In fact, what the study found was that substances on the surface of the bacterium (lipopolysaccharides) were present in the brain tissue […]

Aug 132013
 
 Dietary Saturated Fat & the Risk of Alzheimer's

In a study published online in JAMA Neurology, researchers found that dietary saturated fat reduced the body’s levels of apolipoprotein E, also called ApoE, which helps remove amyloid beta proteins out of the brain. Essentially, people who received a high-saturated-fat, high-sugar diet showed a change in their ApoE, such that the ApoE would be less able to help clear the amyloid. ApoE4 status is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and elevated brain amyloid deposition. […]

Apr 052013
 
Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Hormonal Connection

Recently, findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that may help explain why people who are susceptible to stress are at more risk of developing Alzheimer’s and why — increasingly — we are finding evidence that physical activity, which reduces stress levels, may reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. It is widely believed that the stress hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) may have a protective effect on the brain, including the memory changes brought on by Alzheimer’s. CRF is associated […]

Feb 212013
 
Medicare's Decision on Whether to Cover Amyloid Brain PET Scans

Although the FDA approved florbetapir (Amyvid) in April 2012 as a tracer for PET scans in detecting brain amyloid, Medicare has not covered it. The test costs about $3,000 in total and some patients have been paying for it out of pocket. Last month, a Medicare advisory panel voted against medicare coverage for amyloid brain PET scans. Although the technology has been around for eight years, and numerous studies have shown its accuracy in detecting […]

Jan 242013
 
Where We Are Today in Alzheimer's Research: A Year in Review

One year closes and another begins. Here are the 2012 Alzheimer’s disease research highlights, as well as new directions that we will likely be heading during 2013. Genetic Insights: Among the important discoveries of 2012 was the identification of a genetic mutation that protects people from developing Alzheimer’s disease. The mutation in Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) significantly decreases the amount of beta-amyloid a person makes (about 40 percent), conferring a resistance to developing Alzheimer’s. Just to review, all neurons secrete APP, and […]

Jan 112012
 
Alzheimer's 2011: A Year in Review

As 2012 begins, I would like to review some of the highlights of the Alzheimer’s Disease world this past year, and the new directions that we will likely be heading toward in 2012. This year we saw the publication of new diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’ s disease formulated by committees sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. The National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association also published guidelines for diagnosis […]

Nov 152011
 
Phase I Alzheimer's Study: Gantenerumab & Beta-amyloid Plaque Removal

Gantenerumab, an antibody that binds to beta-amyloid, clears plaques in a matter of months, report scientists at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Basel, Switzerland, in a study published online in Archives of Neurology. The Phase I study of 16 Alzheimer’s patients tested gantenerumab at two doses against a placebo over six months of treatment. Senior author Luca Santarelli and colleagues used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to visualize and compare levels of amyloid plaques in the […]

Sep 272011
 

Dear Readers, The recent results from a clinical trial of insulin for the treatment of AD has garnered a great deal of media attention. Before discussing the research, it is worth reviewing insulin’s role in the brain. Insulin is critical for normal brain function, and abnormal insulin metabolism has been shown to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Because patients with Alzheimer’s disease also exhibit decreased levels of insulin in the central nervous system, […]

Aug 042011
 
Guidelines Issued for Alzheimer’s Genetic Testing

New guidelines have been developed for the field of Alzheimer’s disease. They were published in the June edition of Genetics in Medicine, and jointly issued by the American College of Medical Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. The guidelines distinguish between genetic testing for dominantly inherited AD genes and that for the Alzheimer’s susceptibility gene, ApoE . The three early-onset familial AD genes — presenilin-1 (PS1), presenilin-2 (PS2) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) […]

Alz.org main site  |  Research  |  Advocacy  |  Care and support  |  Message boards  |  Disclaimer  |  Donate  |  Contact us  |  Sign up for e-news
© 2011 Alzheimer's Association | Blog Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha