Dementia in the News

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.

The (UK) Daily Telegraph (October 21, 2009): High Protein Diets Could Cause Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Wed, 10/21/2009

Researchers found that mice fed meals similar to those of the original Atkin's Diet had brains five per cent lighter than all the others.

They also found that the hippocampus part of the brain, which is responsible for memory, were less developed in those rodents on the high protein diet.

Scientists say the findings, published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration, suggest that the ravages of dementia "might be slowed or avoided through healthy eating."

Journal of the American Medical Association (October 21, 2009): American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

Publication Date: 
Wed, 10/21/2009

As many as 5.3 million persons in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease, and an additional 10 million US baby boomers are proejcted to be at risk over their lifetime. Worldwide, with the rapid increase in the older population, Alzheimer disease and related dementias will affect an increasing number of families, with major societal and economic implications. Hence, these are conditions likely to be encountered by a wide range of clinicians.

Boston Globe (October 19, 2009): Age-Old Woes, New Tactic

Publication Date: 
Mon, 10/19/2009

When MIT biology professor Leonard Guarente started looking for the Fountain of Youth through this microscope more than a decade ago, compatriots were hard to come by.

"Even my own colleagues thought I was nuts," said Guarente, whose studies of the metabolic pathways in yeast cells might lead to drugs that reverse and prevent aging. "But the scientific community has done a complete 180 in the past 20 years."

New York Times (October 20, 2009): Treating Dementia, but Overlooking its Physical Toll

Publication Date: 
Tue, 10/20/2009

Dementia is often viewed as a disease of the mind, an illness that erases treasured memories but leaves the body intact.

But dementia is also a physicial illness, too - a progressive, terminal disease that shuts down the body as it attackes the brain. Although the early stages can last for years, the life expectancy of a patient with advanced dementia is similar to that of a patient with advanced cancer.

Bostonia Magazine (October 1, 2009): Life Goes On

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/01/2009

One early summer Saturday, Ted Clapp, a retired minister and psychologist, invited about twenty of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to lunch at his place north of Portland, Maine. He had set out some family treasures - including arrowheads found on his grandfather's farm, watercolor paintings by some "ancient ancestor," an antique trumpet, and his great-grandfather's sword - that he'd collected over his ninety years.

Floral Park (NY) Dispatch (October 16, 2009): Silver Alert Sytem Will Help Locate Missing Adults With Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Fri, 10/16/2009

Senator Charles Schumer is pushing legistation to create a nationwide network for locating missing adults and senior citizens with Alzheimer's, dementia and other mental impairments.

Science Daily (October 15, 2009): Scientists Remove Amyloid Plaques from Brains of Live Animals with Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/15/2009

A breakthrough discovery by scientists from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, may lead to a new treatment for Alzheimer's disease that actually removes amyloid plaques - considered a hallmark of the disease - from patients' brains.

This discovery, published online in the FASEB Journal, is based on the unexpected finding that when the brain's immune cells (microglia) are activated by the interleukin-6 protein (IL-6), they actually remove plaques instead of causing them or making them worse. The research was performed in a model of Alzheimer's disease established in mice.

The (UK) Times Online (October 15, 2009): OMG Launching New Camera for Alzheimer's Patients

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/15/2009

OMG, the Oxford-based company behind the motion-capture technology used in Hollywood films, is preparing to launch a device designed to help Alzheimer's disease sufferers cope with memory loss.

The UK company has signed a license with software giant Microsoft to use its SenseCam technology to launch a wearable camera that automatically takes digital photos of the patient's day. The images taken by the device, which is smaller and lighter than an iPod, can then be viewed to reinforce the patient's memories.

The Globe and Mail (October 13, 2009): Digital Technology Eyed in Fight Against Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Tue, 10/13/2009

Researchers in several countries are beginning to explore new uses for digital technology in treating Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and the University of Toronto is playing an important part.

Devices resulting from this line of inquiry are sometimes known as "cognitive prosthetics", a name intended to communicate their true ability:  Not rehabilitation, merely assistance. Dementias, including Alzheimer's, remain incurable.

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