Apr 21, 2012

Alzheimer's and Dementia Science News 135

Guide dogs for the mind, the holy grail, and more.

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Guide dogs for the mind to fight dementia -- Alzheimer's Scotland
Animals will help Alzheimer's patients remember their medicine and steer them through the day.
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Elan (ELN) chases a holy grail of Alzheimer's treatment: Prevention -- Fierce Biotech
After struggles to develop an effective remedy for Alzheimer's disease, Elan's (ELN) support of research at Cambridge University could unlock targets for a drug that offers a preventive treatment for the memory-stealing disease and other illnesses involving misfolding proteins in the brain.
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Single-neuron observations mark steps in Alzheimer's disease -- Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Studying a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, neuroscientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have observed correlations between increases in both soluble and plaque-forming beta-amyloid – a protein implicated in the disease process – and dysfunctional developments on several levels: individual cortical neurons, neuronal circuits, sensory cognition, and behavior. Their results, published in Nature Communications, show that these changes progress in parallel and that, together, they reveal distinct stages in Alzheimer's disease with a specific order in time.
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Staying Active Fends Off Alzheimer's, Even In People Over 80 -- NPR
Activity cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slows cognitive decline, even in the very old, according to a new study.
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Alzheimer's Disrupts Brain Networks -- ARR
Precise measurement of changes in brain networks are critical to understanding Alzheimer's and will likely be important in models of other neurodegenerative disorders.
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Neurologists Need To Assess Whether A Person With Dementia Can Make Decisions -- Medical New Today
Luis Carlos Alvaro, a clinical neurologist at the Hospital of Basurto (Bilbao) and lecturer at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has had an article published on the capacity of patients with dementia to make decisions.
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Genes associated with brain aging -- Inserm (France)
The hippocampus is a brain structure with a volume reduction with age is associated with memory problems. The acceleration of this phenomenon is a manifestation of Alzheimer's disease. Through an international collaboration involving French research teams (1), genetic mutations associated with reduced hippocampal volume have been highlighted. These results were obtained through epidemiological studies analyzing genomes and brain MRI of 9232 participants aged 56 to 84 years. In France, about 2000 MRI were performed through the study of 3 Cities (2). The results of this work are published April 15, 2012 in the journal Nature Genetics.
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More Insight and Advice from the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room