May 312012
 
Why Berries May Delay Memory Decline

Berries, they’re not just for breakfast anymore. In a study published last month in the Annals of Neurology, researchers  reported that consumption of berries and flavonoids showed a slower rate of cognitive decline in women aged 70 and older.* Using data from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study of 122,000 registered nurses, the researchers conducted assessments on 16,010 women. The Nurses Health Study began in 1976. Every four years they were questioned on their eating habits. [...]

May 102012
 
Can Coconut Oil Treat Alzheimer's?

We’ve received quite a few questions recently about whether or not coconut oil can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. This is a topic that comes up often, so I thought it would be helpful to provide some background: The claim This theory has to do with substances called ketones. The damage caused by Alzheimer’s disrupts the brain’s ability to use its primary energy source, known as glucose. The brain naturally gets a portion of its [...]

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 292011
 
The Biggest Challenge to Alzheimer's Disease Research

We are lucky to be living in a time of significant scientific advancements — allowing us to live healthier, longer lives. But longer lifespans increase the likelihood of age-related health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 5.4 million men and women (and growing). It is also the only top 10 killer in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even treated effectively. [...]

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, [...]

Jul 282011
 

Plants have a long history as a rich source of new compounds for drug discovery. Cinnamon is widely used by humans, both as a spice and as a traditional medicine. It is, perhaps, one of the oldest herbal medicines, having been mentioned in the Bible and in Chinese texts as long as 4,000 years ago. Previous studies have already demonstrated the potential for herbal extracts to interact with beta-amyloid, and perhaps slow down or even [...]

Jul 152011
 
Recent Developments in Amyloid Imaging

The use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease (AD) appears to be closer to becoming a clinical tool, based on results from two articles published online in the Archives of Neurology. In one study, Adam S. Fleisher, M.D., from Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, and colleagues, evaluated PET imaging using the tracer florbetapir F 18. The study population included 68 individuals with probable Alzheimer’s disease, 60 individuals with mild cognitive impairment, [...]

Apr 212011
 
MR Study Shows That Amyloid Deposits Occur Years Before Diagnosis

High-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies have identified characteristic changes in brain structure — thinning of key cortical regions and reduced volume of structures such as the hippocampus — in persons with mild cognitive impairment, in individuals known to carry gene mutations that directly cause Alzheimer’s disease, and in diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients. The current study, published in the Annals of Neurology, involved 87 cognitively normal older individuals and 32 patients diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s (matched [...]

Mar 182011
 
Studies Reveal Very Early Cognitive Declines with Familial Alzheimer's Disease

Last month, researchers Francisco Lopera and colleagues reported in the journal Lancet Neurology that they were able to capture a clear decline in cognition starting in people’s early 30s in the largest-known population with autosomal-dominant (inherited) Alzheimer’s disease. They define an earlier disease stage prior to what is called pre-MCI, in effect pushing the line of detectability back toward younger ages by some four years. Two other papers go in the same direction. Last year [...]

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