Last year was a notable one for scientific achievements: In 2014, European researchers discovered a fundamental new particle that sheds light on the origins of the universe, and the European Space Agency successfully landed the first spacecraft on a comet. Chinese researchers, meanwhile, developed the world’s fastest supercomputer, and uncovered new ways to meet global food demand.
While attending college in her native Colombia, Yakeel T. Quiroz joined the Grupo de Neurociencias de Antioquia. This dedicated group of Colombian researchers, healthcare workers, and students has worked for many years with a large extended family in the northwestern district of Antioquia that is truly unique. About half of the more than 5,000 family members inherit a gene mutation that predisposes them to what is known locally as “la bobera,” or “the foolishness,” a devastating form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
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 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.