Dementia in the News

The research group of Professor Magdalena Gotz of Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU) Munich has made a significant advance in understanding regenerating processes in the brain. The researchers discovered progenitor cells which can form new glutamatergic neurons following injury to the cerebral cortex. Particularly in Alzheimer's disease, nerve cell degeneration plays a crucial role. In the future, new therapeutic options may possibly be derived from steering the generation and/or migration mechanism.

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) researchers have confirmed that a diet rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, patented as an LMN diet, helps to boost the production of the brain's stem cells - neurogenesis - and strengthens their differentiation in different types of neuron cells.

Alzheimer's disease is thought to be caused by the build-up of a brain peptide called amyloid-beta. That's why eliminating the protein has been the focus of almost all drug research pursuing a cure for the devastating neurodegenerative condition.

But that may be counterproductive, says Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University's Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Her recent research demonstrates that amyloid-beta is also necessary to maintain proper brain function.

These findings may shake the foundations of Alzheimer's research.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine set out to address a question that has been challenging scientists for years:  How do dietary restriction -- and the reverse, overconsumption -- produce protective effects against aging and disease?

Coffee, in excess is traditionally considered to be unhealthy, as it can lead to irritability, dehydration, and a jump in blood pressure. According to a study released in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease however, drinking three to five cups a day has shown to reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer's disease by as much as 65%.

Doctors who specialize in treating the elderly are calling on the nation's medical schools to require all students to demonstrate competence in treating senior citizens, a change in century-old teaching standards.

With the first of the 78 million baby boomers nearing retirement age, the American Geriatrics Society is proposing that elder care be added to the list of six core areas that have long been the focus of medical school training.

From the moment he test-drove the brain game, Ed Johnson was riveted.

The word teasers flashing on his computer screen seemed tuned to his personal abilities. And the accompanying voice track prodded or consoled - "it actually congratulates you," he said - based on his answers.

A team of US, Canadian and Italian scientists led by researchers at Johns Hopkins report evidence from studies in animals and humans supporting a link between Alzheimer's disease and chronic heart failure, two of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

A new study reveals that a previously undiscovered mouse gene reduces the two major pathological perturbations commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The research, published by Cell Press in the November 12 issue of the journal Neuron, finds that the novel gene interacts with a key cellular enzyme previously-linked with AD pathology, thereby uncovering a new strategy for treating this devastating disorder.

As cases of Alzheimer's disease continue to soar in the United States, with as many as 16 million Americans expected to be diagnosed by 2015, according to the Alzheimer's Association, more and more youths are faced with the grim reality that one day, grandma or grandpa may forget who they are.
Joe LoGuidice and Bryant Soohoo are all too aware of that possibility -- the Fairfield County teens both have grandparents diagnosed with Alzheimer's, or a related from of dementia.

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