Dementia in the News

CBS News (February 14, 2016): Loss for Words Can be a Rare Brain Disorder

Publication Date: 
Sun, 02/14/2016

A mysterious brain disorder can be confused with early Alzheimer's disease although it isn't robbing patients of their memories but of the words to talk about them.

It's called primary progressive aphasia, and researchers said Sunday they're finding better ways to diagnose the little-known syndrome. That will help people whose thoughts are lucid but who are verbally locked in to get the right kind of care.

Harvard Gazette (February 12, 2016): No Rest for the Graying

Publication Date: 
Fri, 02/12/2016

With the elderly beginning to outnumber the young around the world, workers, employers, and policymakers are rethinking retirement — what work we do, when to stop, and how to spend our later years.

The global demographic transition, described by a panel Thursday at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, is tied to rapidly expanding life spans and declining birthrates. While it is furthest along in developed nations such as Italy, Japan, Germany, and France — with the United States not far behind — it is also a factor in rapidly developing nations like China and India.

New York Times (February 11, 2016): Education May Cut Dementia Risk, Study Finds

Publication Date: 
Thu, 02/11/2016

The risk of developing dementia is decreasing for people with at least a high school education, according to an important new study that suggests that changes in lifestyle and improvements in physical health can help prevent or delay cognitive decline.

Harvard Gazette (February 3, 2016): Alzheimer’s Insights in Single Cells

Publication Date: 
Wed, 02/03/2016

Building on research reported last year, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have succeeded in identifying the neurons that secrete the substance responsible for the plaques that build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The work has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Boston Globe (February 9, 2016): More Information on Genetic Risks is Actually Reassuring, Study Finds

Publication Date: 
Tue, 02/09/2016

A man - let’s call him Paul - decides to undergo genetic testing to determine his risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Paul’s doctor reports back that he has elevated risk for that and another life-threatening illness: heart disease. How does Paul react?

Doctors have long worried that unanticipated genetic test results could harm patients, leading to depression, stress, or despondence.

Harvard Medical School News (January 27, 2016): ‘Lifespan Machine’ Probes Cause of Aging

Publication Date: 
Wed, 01/27/2016

Aging is one of the most mysterious processes in biology. We don’t know, scientifically speaking, what exactly it is. We do know for sure when it ends, but to make matters even more inscrutable, the timing of death is determined by factors that are in many cases statistically random.

Researchers in the lab of Walter Fontana, Harvard Medical School professor of systems biology, have found patterns in this randomness that provide clues into the biological basis of aging.

New York Times (January 21, 2016): Centenarians Proliferate, and Live Longer

Publication Date: 
Thu, 01/21/2016

Move over, millennials. The centenarians are coming.

The number of Americans age 100 and older - those born during Woodrow Wilson’s administration and earlier — is up by 44 percent since 2000, federal health officials reported Thursday.

There were 72,197 of them in 2014, up from 50,281 in 2000, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1980, they numbered about 15,000.

National Institutes of Health (January 16, 2016): NIH Unveils FY2016–2020 Strategic Plan

Publication Date: 
Sat, 01/16/2016

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today released the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2016–2020: Turning Discovery Into Health, which will ensure the agency remains well positioned to capitalize on new opportunities for scientific exploration and address new challenges for human health.

National Institutes of Health (January 12, 2016): Boosting Brain’s Waste Disposal System May Slow Neurodegenerative Diseases

Publication Date: 
Tue, 01/12/2016

Several neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, are characterized by proteins that accumulate in the brain. One protein, called tau, clumps into twisted threads known as tangles. These are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and several other neurodegenerative disorders known as tauopathies.

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