Dementia in the News

Newsday (November 4, 2009): Culture, Language Pose Challenge in Dealing with Disease

Publication Date: 
Wed, 11/04/2009

When Charles Tang's wife Amy 76, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's several years ago, he started looking for a support group for himself. He was shocked to find none were available in his native Chinese language.

"Every time I was attending the education meetings at the Alzheimer's Association NYC chapter, I found that I was the only one who was Chinese or even Asian," said Tang, 84, of Manhattan.

Science Daily (November 2, 2009): High Blood Pressure and Markers of Inflammation in Blood Mice Common in Offspring of Parents with Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Mon, 11/02/2009

High blood pressume, evidence of arterial disease and markers of inflammation in the blood in middle age appear more common in inidividuals whose parents have Alzheimer's disease than in individuals without a parental history of the condition, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

CBS News (October 30, 2009): Epilepsy Drugs May Treat Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Fri, 10/30/2009

A group of drugs used to treat epilepsy may also treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

New research shows treatment with T-type calcium channel blockers, used to treat epilepsy, protected nerve cells from the brains of mice that can be damaged by neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Proto Magazine (Fall 2009): Tangier Disease: One Island's Treasure

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/01/2009

The surgeon who removed the five-year-old boy's tonsils in 1959 had never seen anything like them. Instead of pinkish lobes, the boy's tonsils were huge and orange. Thinking that their extraordinary appearance might signal a rare malignancy, the surgeon sent the tonsils to the Armed Forces Pathology Institute in Washington, DC. Though researchers there found no cancer, they did discover the reason for the tissue's abnomal size and color:  Its cells were bloated with cholesterol.

Science Daily (October 28, 2009): Benefit of Memantine in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease Not Proven

Publication Date: 
Wed, 10/28/2009

There is no scientific proof that patients with moderate or severe Alzheimer's disease benefit from drugs containing the agent Memantine. This is the conclusion in the final report that the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) published in September 2009.

The report is part of a broader commission awarded by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) to assess both drug and non-drug therapy options for Alzheimer's disease. In addition to Memantine, IQWiG has investigated cholinesterase inhibitors, Ginkgo Biloba and non-drug therapy alternatives.

Reuters (October 27, 2009): Diabetics with Alzheimer's Have Slower Memory Loss

Publication Date: 
Tue, 10/27/2009

People who have both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes have slower rates of memory loss than people who just have Alzheimer's, French researchers said on Tuesday.

They studied 600 Alzheimer's patients for four years and found those who had both Alzheimer's and diabetes - about 10 percent of the total - scored far better on twice yearly memory and thinking tests than those with Alzheimer's who did not have diabetes.

Science Daily (October 25, 2009): Is It a Visual Problem or Alzheimer's? New Data Helps Doctors Make the Diagnosis

Publication Date: 
Sun, 10/25/2009

Sometimes when a patient tells his opthalmologist that he "can't see," what he really means is "I can see, but I can no longer read or write." In a minority of Alzheimer's patients, the disease shows up first as problems with vision rather than memory or other cognitive functions. But diagnosis can be difficult because standard eye exams are often inconclusive for these patients.

Science Daily (October 22, 2009): Manipulating Brain Inflammation May Help Clear Brain of Amyloid Plaques, Researchers Say

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/22/2009

In a surprising reversal of long-standing scientific belief, researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida have discovered that inflammation in the brain is not the trigger that leads to buildup of amyloid deposits and developmentof Alzheimer's disease.

In fact, inflammation helps clear the brain of those noxious amyloid plaques early in the disease development, as seen from studies in mice that are predisposed to the disorder, say the researchers in the online issue of the FASEB journal.

Science Daily (October 22, 2009): Blood Test Shows Promise For Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/22/2009

Elderly people exhibiting memory disturbances that do not affect their normal, daily life suffer from a condition called "mild cognitive impairment" (MCI).  Some MCI patients go on to develop Alzheimer's disease within a few years, whereas other cases remain stable,  exhibiting only benign senile forgetfulness. It is crucial to develop simple, blood-based tests enabling early identification of these patients that will progress in order to begin therapy as soon as possible, potentially delaying the onset of dementia.

Science Daily (October 21, 2009): Alzheimer's Lesions Found in the Retina

Publication Date: 
Wed, 10/21/2009

The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but new research indicates they also may mirror a brain ravaged by Alzheimer's disease.

UC Irvine neuroscientists have found that retinas in mice genetically altered to have Alzheimer's undergo changes similar to those that occur in the brain -- most notably the accumulation of amyloid plaque lesions.

In addition, the scientists discovered that when Alzheimer's therapies are tested in such mice, retinal changes that result might predict how the treatments will work in humans better than changes in mouse brain tissue.

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