Alzheimer’s Matters, the official blog of the ADDF, features insights, perspectives and commentary on current topics of interest in Alzheimer’s disease and related drug discovery.
The wire has been buzzing with news that the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Alzheimer’s Society UK have teamed up to explore the possibility that a commonly prescribed drug for impotence may benefit patients with dementia. This is the first-ever study researching the use of an erectile dysfunction drug for vascular dementia, a form of dementia that affects an estimated one million Americans and is often seen in combination with Alzheimer’s disease.
Family tension. Long-distance travel. Expensive gifts. Extensive preparations. It’s no secret that the holidays can be a stressful time. For families living with Alzheimer’s, that anxiety is often magnified by the trials brought on by an uptick in activities, exposure to unfamiliar places and breaks in routine. We’ve put together a few tips to help you and your loved ones enjoy the holiday season while managing the challenges and changes that come with Alzheimer’s disease.
Recently, the The New York Times covered the news that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) had received a record-breaking $3.3 billion return on its $150 million investment. Even more impressive: the CFF’s early and continuous investment led to the development of the first FDA-approved drug to treat the root causes of cystic fibrosis, rather than the lung disease’s symptoms.
This year, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has so many reasons to be thankful. Your support has enabled us to make tremendous progress in our search for an effective treatment, and a cure, for Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we highlight a few of the most exciting research developments.
Four years ago, I received the shock of a lifetime: my wife of 22 years, B. Smith, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. There were signs leading up to B.’s diagnosis—signs we desperately tried to ignore. Always an effortless chef, B. had begun taking a little longer to put our meals together. Ever punctual, B. was beginning to have trouble getting out the door on time.
There's no doubt you've read the news: scientists have successfully modeled some of the key features of Alzheimer’s disease in a dish. The new technology, developed by a team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) led by Rudolph E. Tanzi, may offer a more accurate, efficient and inexpensive way to screen prospective drugs for Alzheimer’s while also advancing our ability to understand the biological processes that lead to the disease.
We’d like to send our congratulations to John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, recipients of The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 for their discoveries of “place cells” and “grid cells” in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex of the brain. These GPS cells help humans to create a map of our surroundings, allowing us to navigate both new and familiar environments, and provide a space and time context in which new memories can be formed.
How do we decide what to fund? We rely on the expertise of our team of PhD scientists to identify the research most likely to lead to an effective treatment, and a cure, for Alzheimer’s disease. Meet Rachel Lane, PhD, one of the key members of that team.
My brother, Ronald, and I co-founded the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) with one objective: to conquer this disease in our lifetimes. That’s why we focus on drug discovery and development. And in the last 10 years, the ADDF has made incredible progress, funding 450 unique drug discovery programs led by the best and brightest scientists in the world.
If you’re a regular reader of The New York Times, you may have a seen a recent article asking “Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?” It’s a provocative question, inspired by the writer’s recent introduction to a collection of research showing an association between lithium exposure and “beneficial clinical, behavioral, legal and medical outcomes” including some evidence that the naturally occurring element is neuroprotective.