More than 99% of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs have failed, leading many to wonder whether pharmaceutical companies have gone after the wrong targets. Now, research in mice points to a potential new target: a developmental process gone awry, which causes some immune cells to feast on the connections between neurons.
“It is beautiful new work,” which “brings into light what’s happening in the early stage of the disease,” says Jonathan Kipnis, a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.
Even the simplest networks of neurons in the brain are composed of millions of connections. Examining these vast networks is critical to understanding how the brain works, and now, an international team of researchers, led by Wei-Chung Allen Lee, instructor in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, R. Clay Reid of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle and Vincent Bonin of Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders (NERF), has published the largest network to date of connections between neurons in the visual cortex.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, patients are often unable to remember recent experiences. However, a new study from MIT suggests that those memories are still stored in the brain — they just can’t be easily accessed.
The MIT neuroscientists report in Nature that mice in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can form new memories just as well as normal mice but cannot recall them a few days later.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have launched the Molecular Mechanisms of the Vascular Etiology of Alzheimer’s Disease (M²OVE-AD) Consortium to better understand how the body’s vascular system, its network of large and small blood vessels, contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Toxic buildup of a protein in the brain's language centers may help drive a rare form of dementia that causes people to lose their ability to use language, a new study finds.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago used high-tech imaging to track the buildup of amyloid protein in the brains of people with the language-loss dementia, called primary progressive aphasia (PPA).
They compared those findings to amyloid buildup in the brains of people with memory loss related to Alzheimer's disease.
“The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase. The number will escalate rapidly in coming years as the baby boom generation ages.” 2015 Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures
Marty and Matt Reiswig, two brothers in Denver, knew that Alzheimer’s disease ran in their family, but neither of them understood why. Then a cousin, Gary Reiswig, whom they barely knew, wrote a book about their family, “The Thousand Mile Stare.”
When the brothers read it, they realized what they were facing.
When award-winning author Lisa Genova's grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she just wanted to understand what she was going through.
So she read … and read … and read.
"I read the scientific literature, I read some textbook stuff on Alzheimer's and then I read a lot of the self-help books, the non-fiction books on Alzheimer's," she tells Jane Hutcheon on One Plus One.
The blood-brain barrier at the interface between the brain’s blood vessels and nerve cells acts as a vital gatekeeper to the brain, allowing essential nutrients and fluids to pass into the central nervous system and the web of our brain’s neurons while keeping out harmful toxins and bacterial infection. Yet this barrier is so effective that it can also block the delivery of therapies for treating neurological diseases or brain injury.
When John Ellsworth was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2013, he could already recognize his words just weren't coming out right. The former marketing and design professional and avid gardener struggled to identify flowers and plants, and later the names of close friends. But it wasn't until his wife, Karlene, had to begin finishing his sentences that John felt the gravity of the disease take hold.