Dementia in the News

The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the "turning point" in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients.

But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases.

In tests on mice, the Medical Research Council showed all brain cell death from prion disease could be prevented.

A protein increased by endurance exercise has been isolated and given to non-exercising mice, turning on genes that promote brain health and encourage the growth of new nerves involved in learning and memory, scientists from Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have reported.

As research on Alzheimer's disease becomes a growing societal priority worldwide, the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association have launched the International Alzheimer's Disease Research Portfolio (IARDP). By organizing thousands of studies on AD into one central database, IADRP will help sponsors identify funded research to avoid duplication, coordinate funding efforts, and spot gaps in support. Researchers may fine it useful for the same reasons.

For 25 years, Charlie Collier traveled the country, seeking donations for Harvard University, where he gained a national reputation in the field of family philanthropy. Now, he is speaking out, as much as he is able, on a topic even closer to his heart:  Alzheimer's disease.

Five years ago, at age 60, Collier was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Though his speech and handwriting are somewhat impaired these days, Collier's intellect remains nearly as sharp as it was in 2001, when he published the groundbreaking book "Wealth in Families," now in its 11th printing.

El 21 de septiembre es el Día Mundial dedicado a la enfermedad de Alzheimer.

Una enfermedad que consume los sueños y las oportunidades de millones de pacientes y sus familias en todo el mundo, que golpea de forma especial en una de las etapas más vulnerables de la vida, cuando nuestra piel se empecina en arrugarse y más necesitamos la compañía de nuestros recuerdos de lo vivido.

Una enfermedad que, de momento, nos lleva ventaja en la partida y hoy figura entre las principales causas de mortalidad en nuestro país.

Pioneering brain imaging that can detect the build-up of destructive proteins linked to Alzheimer's has been developed by Japanese scientists.

It could lead to new ways of diagnosing the condition and of testing the effectivenewss of new drugs.

The technology, reported in the journal Neuron, can identify inside a living brain clumps of a protein called tau that is closely linked to the disease.

Alzheimer's Research UK said it was promising work.

The Alzheimer's Association announced that Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to join with the Alzheimer's Early Detection Alliance (AEDA), an Alzheimer's Association program that provides information and resources to employees of organization. All state employees will be able to access information about warning signs of Alzheimer's as well as resources to cope with living with the disease or caring for someone affected.

Scientists have known for decades that people with Down syndrome were at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but they didn't know why. Some researchers now believe that understanding the connection between the two conditions might help us unravel the Alzheimer's puzzle and point towards therapies that might slow, or even halt, the dreaded disease.

In the summer of 2006 Harvard professor emerita Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz, '44, RI'69 - long revered for her work on the history of public health and for promoting women at Harvard (she was among the earliest full female professors and the first female House master) - called her daughter, baffled. "She was having trouble making a salad," recalls Debby Rosenkrantz. Was it a case of low blood sugar, or maybe related to a recent arm rash? "I came over with some orange juice and helped her finish making the dinner."

Massachusetts nursing homes that advertise specialized Alzheimer's and dementia care units will be required to provide workers with at least eight hours of initial training to care for such residents, and four additional hours annually, under proposed rules unveiled Wednesday by state regulators.

The rules would also required all licensed nursing homes, and not just those with special dementia units, to provide dementia-specific training for all direct-care workers, which include medical directors, nurses, social workers, dietary aides, therapists and activities staff.

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