Dementia in the News

Tests that measure the sense of smell may soon become common in neurologists' offices. Scientists have been finding increasing evidence that the sense of smell declines sharply in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and now a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published today in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease confirms that administering a simple "sniff test" can enhance the accuracy of diagnosing this dreaded disease.

MIT technology using LED lights has been licensed to a biotech startup that’s trying to develop a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects an estimated 47 million people worldwide.

Cognito Therapeutics Inc., based jointly in Cambridge and San Francisco, said Wednesday that it has secured a license to intellectual property stemming from the scientific discoveries of Li-Huei Tsai and Ed Boyden, professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s department of brain and cognitive sciences.

In an old factory building with breathtaking views of Boston Harbor and the Charlestown Navy Yard, a group of
more than 20 researchers spend their Thursday afternoon looking at brain scans and discussing their findings of the week.  This doesn’t look like your stereotypical image of research in a lab. There are no white coats, beakers and mice. This is what is known as a dry lab.

When Yakeel Quiroz, PhD, Co-Director, MUNDOS, joined the Psychology Assessment program at Mass General in 2011, she worried when she noticed that some of the test questions given to Latino patients did not seem to be culturally appropriate.

he defective proteins that are widely thought to kill brain neurons and cause, or at least indicate, Alzheimer’s disease do not always have that calamitous result, scientists reported on Monday, raising more doubts about conventional approaches to diagnosing and finding treatments for Alzheimer’s.

A novel approach to analyzing brain structure that focuses on the shape, rather than the size, of particular features may allow identification of individuals who are in the early, pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

A team of Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital used advanced computational tools to analyze data from standard MRI scans.

A recent report doesn’t bode well for the population of aging Latinos in the United States.

According to “Latinos and Alzheimer’s Disease: New Numbers Behind the Crisis,” which was released last week, as many as 3.5 million Latinos are expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease by 2060 – an 832 percent increase.

Barring discovery of a cure or significant treatment, the number of Latinos in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s will grow from 379,000 in 2012 to one million by 2030.

Some loss of memory is usually considered an inevitable part of aging, but new research reveals how some people appear to escape that fate. A study by investigators at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital examined a group of older adults with extraordinary memory performance and found that certain key areas of their brains resembled those of young people.

A living history museum usually conjures up images of butter churns and anvils. At Den Gamle By (The Old Town) Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, you'll find all that. But tucked away in one corner of this museum, there's also something different - an entire apartment straight out of the 1950s.

The "House of Memories" is not usually open to the public, and it's not aimed at schoolchildren sent to learn about a distant and exotic past.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) - the long-running National Institutes of Health-supported study investigating brain and fluid biomarkers of the disease - enters a new phase of discovery with the launch of ADNI3. With the recent NIH award of approximately $40 million over the next five years—coupled with anticipated private sector contributions of $20 million through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) - ADNI3 will use cutting-edge technologies in brain imaging as it recruits hundreds of new volunteers.

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