Dementia in the News

NIA Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes joined health ministers, leading scientists, and advocates from around the world March 16-17 in Geneva, Switzerland, to advance dementia research planning on a global scale.

The Sing Dao Daily -- one of the world's widely-read Chinese daily news -- reports on Dr. David Hsu's recent presentation on maintaining good health at the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center!







The radio ad pierced Helene DeCoste’s thoughts as she drove home from an exhausting day in Lexington, clearing out mountains of paperwork in her older sister’s house. Bills and documents had piled up as her sister sank into a fog of dementia.

Boston researchers, the radio ad said, sought volunteers to test an Alzheimer’s drug. DeCoste, who watched her mother die of Alzheimer’s and is witnessing the same decline in her 73-year-old sister, dialed the study number soon after she got home.


Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup, discovering a host of previously unknown gene mutations that may play roles in ailments as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and gallstones.

Helene DeCoste of Boston is a patient in a ground breaking clinical trial, testing whether a drug called Solanezumab can slow down or even prevent Alzheimer's disease. No drug has even come close before, but researchers have never tested patients quite like Helene in quite this way before.

"She is a perfect patient for this trial," said Dr. Reisa Sperling, a physician at Harvard University and the project director of what's called the A4 Study.

Doctors are not telling a majority of their patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's that they have the degenerative brain disease, a new report shows.

The research, conducted by the Alzheimer's Association, involved patients whose Medicare records listed treatments that are specific to Alzheimer's disease.

However, when the researchers asked the patients (or a caregiver as a proxy) if their doctor had informed them that they had the brain-robbing disease, only 45 percent said they had been told so by their doctor.

New research is changing long-held ideas of how our minds age, painting a richer picture of different cognitive skills peaking across a lifetime, with at least one - vocabulary - peaking at a time when many are considering retirement.

If you have a friend or loved one who is battling Alzheimer’s disease, you know just how cruel the illness can be. Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and its rate of diagnosis is increasing as the baby boomer generation ages. Sadly, there is no cure for the disease and no treatments are effective in slowing its progression. But there is hope.

Recently, the BroadMinded blog highlighted the exciting science emerging from the Roadmap Epigenomics program, resulting in the most comprehensive map of the human epigenome — the collection of chemical changes to DNA and its supporting proteins that help control how genes are turned on or off.

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