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 […]

Jul 242012
 
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference: Balancing Hope with Realism

This post originally appeared on the ChicagoNow blog, “Ask Dr. Chill: Practical Answers to the Toughest Caregiving Questions.” It is being reposted here with the author’s permission. Alas, I was not able to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver this month, but I did follow it closely on the organization’s website. The event attracted over 4,300 scientists, physicians and other professionals in the Alzheimer’s community who gathered to discuss findings from their most recent batches […]

Jun 112012
 
Why Aren’t You Researching Coconut Oil or [Insert Other Substance Here]?

My recent blog entry “Can Coconut Oil Treat Alzheimer’s?” generated a lot of comments with the same question: “Why isn’t the Alzheimer’s Association researching coconut oil?” It’s an excellent question and one I get often about coconut oil and other substances that have been rumored to help people with Alzheimer’s. At first glance, the answer is simple: we’ve received few, if any proposals specifically studying  coconut oil. However, we have received a little over half a […]

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 […]

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