When it comes to vascular brain injury, the dementia field has been mired in uncertainty. What is it, exactly? How can scientists measure and treat it? How does it realted to Alzheimer's patholology or contribute to cognitive decline? Answers to these old questions are still lacking, but two recent studies published online February 11 and 18 in JAMA Neurology suggest that vascular damage and amyloid plaques occur independently in early stages of AD.
In your mind, does the word "centiloid" conjure up images of a small creature with too many legs? Instead, think centimeter yardstick, or thermometer. A centiloid is a proposed unit of measure on a unified scale for all amyloid-beta imaging tracers used in positron emission tomography (PET). Alzheimer's disease scientists use a handful of ligands in research already, and while the FDA thus far has approved only one - Amyvid - for clinical use, other approvals appear likely. Since each tracer has its own chracteristic signal strength, comparing them remains difficult.
Only recently has it become possible to create high-quality images of the brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease in living people through positron emission tomography (PET). Even so, questions remain about what can be learned from these PET images and which people should have this test.
For decades scientists have known that the ability to remember newly learned information declines with age, but it was not clear why. A new study may provide part of the answer.
The report, posted online on Sunday by the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggests that structural brain changes occurring naturally over time interfere with sleep quality, which in turn blunts the ability to store memories for the long term.
Researchers have chosen an experimental drug by Eli Lilly & Co. for a large federally funded study testing whether it's possible to prevent Alzheimer's disease in older people at high risk of developing it.
The drug, called solaneuzumab (sol-ah-NAYZ-uh-mab), is designed to bind to and help clear the sticky deposits that clog patients' brains.
Earlier studies found it did not help people with moderate to severe Alzeimer's but it showed some promise against milder disease. Researchers think it might work better if given before symptoms start.
The doctors crowd around the computer monitor, examining the brain scans of the man lying on their operating table down the hall. The metal headdress they have mounted to his cranium - or "stereotactic frame" in medical lingo - provides coordinates, a sort of 3-D GPS they will use to guide platinum-iridium electrodes deep into his brain. The electricity pulsing through those electrodes will temporarily short out his misfiring globus pallidus.
Long-awaited federal funding has been approved for a first-of-its-kind, Boston-led study to test whether drugs can hold off Alzheimer's disease in people who have no symptoms of the illness, but who have an abnormal protein in their brains believed to be a hallmark of the disease.
The National Institutes of Health announced Monday that the clinical trial, to be led by Dr. Reisa Sperling, an Alzheimer's specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is one of four that will be funded this year to find treatments for the disease.
As population age worldwide and the number of people with dementia is set to soar over the next few decades, a crisis in eldercare looms. At the same time, the use of personal technology - smartphones, tablets, wearable monitors - is exploding. Can technology help society avert the crisis? some researchers envision a future in which older adults with cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease could stay independenet longer with the help of technology. Robots and interactive computers would aid an impaired senior to complete simple tasks.
As many of you know, Alzheimer's is an absolutely devastating neurodegenerative disease. It destroys the lives of loved ones with the disease, takes a terrible toll on family and friends who care for them, and costs, for patient care alone, an estimated $200 billion a year.
The unusually high incidence of early-onset Alzheimer's disease in this isolated cattle town has thrust it to the forefront of global efforts to find a cure for the debilitating malady.
Next spring, 100 residents of this region in northwestern Columbia who are known to carry a mutant gene linked to the disease will begin taking a therapeutic drug produced by the U.S. biotechnology firm Genentech. The five-year clinical trial, called the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, will cost $100 million. The effort is backed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and includes UCLA.