Dementia in the News

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.

Smithsonian (January 11, 2016): How Museums are Helping People With Memory Loss

Publication Date: 
Mon, 01/11/2016

Alzheimer’s disease affects one of every nine Americans age 65 or older, and some experts estimate that this number will double by 2050. As more and more people develop memory loss, individuals are finding creative ways to help those afflicated. One of these unlikely places? Museums.

White House (January 2016): 2015 White House Conference on Aging (Final Report)

Publication Date: 
Tue, 01/05/2016


The White House has held a Conference on Aging every decade, beginning in 1961, to identify and advance actions to improve the quality of life of older Americans.

In 2015, the United States marked the 50th anniversaries of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) provided an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the next decade.

Japan Times (January 3, 2016): Part II: Options Available to Mitigate Dangers of Living Alone with Dementia

Publication Date: 
Sun, 01/03/2016

At first glance, it’s hard to tell what’s wrong with Keiko Sawada.

“I don’t hate being alone, but I do feel lonely at times,” Sawada, a sociable and talkative woman, said during a recent visit to her one-room apartment in Nakano Ward, Tokyo. “Of course I’m worried about what will happen to me in the future. I’m 85, after all.”

As casual exchanges continue, however, it becomes increasingly clear the former bar hostess has serious memory problems.

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