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Alzheimer's Disease Blog

Related terms: Presenile Dementia, SDAT, Senile dementia Alzheimer's Type, Alzheimers

More Research Links Poor Heart Health With Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 16 days ago by

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 – A new study links heart disease with increased odds of developing dementia. Researchers found that artery stiffness – a condition called atherosclerosis – is associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. "This is more than just another example of how heart health relates to brain health. It is a signal that the process of vascular aging may predispose the brain to increased amyloid plaque buildup," said lead researcher Timothy Hughes, from the department of internal medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Plaque builds with age and appears to worsen in those with stiffer arteries, he said. "Finding and preventing the causes of plaque buildup is going to be an essential factor in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and extending brain health throughout life," Hughes added. Alzheimer's ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

FDA Approves Neuraceq (florbetaben F18 injection) for PET Imaging of Beta-Amyloid Plaques

Posted 20 Mar 2014 by

Berlin/Boston, March 20, 2014‒ Piramal Imaging today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Neuraceq. This approval comes only four weeks after receiving marketing authorization for Neuraceq from the European Commission. Neuraceq is indicated for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of the brain to estimate beta-amyloid neuritic plaque density in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other causes of cognitive decline. There are an estimated 7.7 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide. 1 Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of all dementia diagnoses. 2 However, a clinical diagnosis of probable AD is incorrect upon post-mortem histological investigation in 10-30% of cases.3 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has declared it will cover a beta-amyloid PET scan fo ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation, Positron Emission Tomography Imaging

Alzheimer's Strikes Women Harder Than Men: Report

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – A 65-year-old American woman has a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life, while a man the same age has about a 1 in 11 chance. That's one of the key findings of a new report that highlights the heavy toll that Alzheimer's takes on women as both patients and caregivers. Women in their 60s are also twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's than breast cancer, according to the report – "2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures" – from the Alzheimer's Association. The report also found that there are 2.5 times more women than men providing 24-hour care for a loved one with Alzheimer's. Women caregivers are also more likely than men to switch from full-time to part-time work (20 percent versus 3 percent), more likely to take a leave of absence (18 percent versus 11 percent), and to stop working (11 percent versus 5 percent) to meet the ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's May Kill Far More Americans Than Thought

Posted 5 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 – The number of lives lost to Alzheimer's disease each year may be far more than thought, and it might rival heart disease and cancer as one of the top killers of Americans, new research suggests. Combing through data on nearly 2,600 older adults, scientists from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago estimated that more than one-third of all deaths in people aged 75 and older were attributable to Alzheimer's, and the death toll from the incurable brain disease exceeds statistics gleaned from death certificates. Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 5 million Americans over age 65, and currently ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Although official statistics blame Alzheimer's for about 85,000 deaths each year, the study authors estimated the true toll to be closer to 500,000. "A lot of people don't recognize that Alzheimer's ... Read more

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Twins Study May Give Some Insight Into Alzheimer's

Posted 5 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 – A new study in twins is offering clues to the power of genetics in charting the course of the brain-robbing disease Alzheimer's. Experts have long known that the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and the brain changes associated with the condition can vary widely from person to person. But in twins – and especially identical twins, who share the same DNA – there were remarkable similarities in how the disease progressed and what parts of the brain were affected, scientists report. "Identical twins tended to have similar combinations of pathologies [conditions or diseases]. We looked not just at the hallmark indicators of Alzheimer's, but at all the other damage in the brain," study leader Margaret Gatz, a professor of psychology, gerontology and preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, said in a university news release. In the study, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Chemicals in 'Western' Diet Show Alzheimer's-Like Effects in Mice

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 – Common compounds in the "Western" diet seem to promote Alzheimer's-linked brain deposits and memory problems in mice, researchers say. Scientists found that when they added the compounds – called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) – to the lifelong diets of laboratory mice, the animals developed greater amounts of beta-amyloid in the brain. Beta-amyloid is the protein that makes up the brain "plaques" seen in people with Alzheimer's disease. What's more, mice fed these compounds developed more problems with movement and memory as they aged compared to mice that spent their lives dining on chow that produced low levels of these chemicals. AGEs are naturally present in small amounts in the human body, said senior researcher Dr. Helen Vlassara, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. But you also ingest the compounds through food – ... Read more

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Antidepressant Celexa May Help Ease Alzheimer's-Linked Agitation

Posted 18 Feb 2014 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2014 – The antidepressant Celexa shows promise in easing the agitation people with Alzheimer's disease often suffer, and may offer a safer alternative to antipsychotic drugs, a new study finds. "Agitation is one of the worst symptoms for patients and their families: it puts the Alzheimer's patient at risk for other system overloads (cardiac, infection), wears them out physically, and exhausts caregivers and families," noted one expert, Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He said that while antipsychotic drugs are typically used to help ease the agitation, they are also associated with a higher risk of death for Alzheimer's patients, so safer alternatives would be welcome. The new study was led by Dr. Constantine Lyketsos, director of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center in Baltimore. It included 186 ... Read more

Related support groups: Celexa, Citalopram, Alzheimer's Disease, Agitation

Having 2 Parents With Alzheimer's May Raise Risk of Early Brain Changes

Posted 12 Feb 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2014 – Middle-aged adults who are unfortunate enough to have both parents suffer from Alzheimer's disease may face yet another worry: an increased risk of early, Alzheimer's-related brain changes. In a new study, researchers found that of more than 50 healthy adults, those with two parents affected by Alzheimer's were more likely to show certain abnormalities in brain scans. The researchers said the full significance of the findings, which were reported online Feb. 12 in the journal Neurology, is unclear because it is not yet known whether these early changes will definitely lead to full-blown Alzheimer's. Instead, the study looked for changes in the brain that have been linked to Alzheimer's. Those included deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid and a thinning of the brain's gray matter – the tissue that basically acts as the brain's information-processing ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Groundbreaking Partnership Formed to Develop New Treatments

Posted 4 Feb 2014 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2014 – In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has partnered with 10 drug companies and several nonprofit groups to speed development of biological ways of diagnosing and treating common chronic diseases. The first diseases targeted by the Accelerating Medicines Partnership are Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes and two autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The partnership will invest more than $230 million over five years on these initial projects. The data and analyses that result will be made available to all biomedical researchers, the NIH said. "Patients and their caregivers are relying on science to find better and faster ways to detect and treat disease and improve their quality of life," NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said in an agency news release. "Currently, we are investing a great deal of money and time in ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Alzheimer's Disease, Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Hepatitis

DDT Exposure May Raise Alzheimer's Risk: Study

Posted 27 Jan 2014 by

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2014 – Exposure to the banned pesticide DDT appears to increase a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease, a new study reveals. Blood drawn from a small sample of Alzheimer's patients contained nearly four times greater levels of a DDT byproduct than blood taken from a group of healthy people, researchers found. Exposure to DDT appears to promote the development of amyloid beta plaques, which clog the neurons of Alzheimer's patients and are suspected to be a cause of the disease, said study author Jason Richardson, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational medicine at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. The pesticide also might further increase Alzheimer's risk for people who already have a genetic predisposition toward developing the degenerative disease, Richardson said. People scored significantly lower on logic and reasoning tests ... Read more

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Experimental Alzheimer's Drugs Found Ineffective in Clinical Trials

Posted 22 Jan 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 – Two experimental drugs for Alzheimer's disease have failed their clinical trials, proving unable to help patients with mild to moderate dementia, according to new studies. Both bapineuzumab and solanezumab did not improve patients' ability to think and solve problems, according to findings published in the Jan. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The drugs were intended to help people with Alzheimer's by clearing the amyloid beta protein plaques that typically clog neurons in the brains of people with the degenerative illness, the researchers said. Neither medication improved patients' ability to think. "We were disappointed there was no clear clinical benefit," said Dr. Steven Salloway, lead researcher on the bapineuzumab study. Salloway is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Despite ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Daily High-Dose Vitamin E Might Delay Alzheimer's

Posted 2 Jan 2014 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2013 – There might be some good news in the fight against Alzheimer's disease: A new study suggests that a large daily dose of vitamin E might help slow progression of the memory-robbing illness. Alzheimer's patients given a "pharmacological" dose of vitamin E experienced slower declines in thinking and memory and required less caregiver time than those taking a placebo, said Dr. Maurice Dysken, lead author of a new study published Dec. 31 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "We found vitamin E significantly slowed the rate of progression versus placebo," said Dysken, who is with the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Experts stressed, however, that vitamin E does not seem to fight the underlying cause of Alzheimer's and is in no way a cure. The study involved more than 600 patients at 14 VA ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Vitamin E, Alpha E, Aquasol E, Vita-Plus E Natural, Aqua-E, Aquavite-E, E Pherol, Nutr-E-Sol, Amino-Opti-E, E-600, Centrum Singles-Vitamin E, E-400 Clear

Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels Might Raise Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 30 Dec 2013 by

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2013 – Keeping "bad" cholesterol in check and increasing "good" cholesterol is not only good for your heart, but also your brain, new research suggests. A study from the University of California, Davis, found that low levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and high levels of "good" (HDL) cholesterol are linked to lower levels of so-called amyloid plaque in the brain. A build-up of this plaque is an indication of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers said in a university news release. The researchers suggested that maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is just as important for brain health as controlling blood pressure. "Our study shows that both higher levels of HDL and lower levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream are associated with lower levels of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain," the study's lead author, Bruce Reed, associate director of the UC Davis ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Alzheimer's Disease

Concussions Linked to Alzheimer's Risk in Study

Posted 26 Dec 2013 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2013 – Older adults with memory problems and a history of concussion have more buildup of Alzheimer's disease-associated plaques in the brain than those who also had concussions but don't have memory problems, according to a new study. ''What we think it suggests is, head trauma is associated with Alzheimer's-type dementia – it's a risk factor," said study researcher Michelle Mielke, an associate professor of epidemiology and neurology at Mayo Clinic Rochester. "But it doesn't mean someone with head trauma is [automatically] going to develop Alzheimer's." Her study is published online Dec. 26 and in the Jan. 7 print issue of the journal Neurology. Previous studies looking at whether head trauma is a risk factor for Alzheimer's have come up with conflicting results, she noted. And Mielke stressed that she has found only a link or association, not a cause-and-effect ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

Deciphering the DNA of Alzheimer's Patients

Posted 4 Dec 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 – Data that details every gene in the DNA of 410 people with Alzheimer's disease can now be studied by researchers, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced this week. This first batch of genetic data is now available from the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project, launched in February 2012 as part of an intensified national effort to find ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease. Genome sequencing outlines the order of all 3 billion chemical letters in an individual's DNA, which is the entire set of genetic data every person carries in every cell. "Providing raw DNA sequence data to a wide range of researchers is a powerful, crowd-sourced way to find genomic changes that put us at increased risk for this devastating disease," NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in an institute news release. "The [genome project] is designed to identify genetic ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease

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