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.
Did you miss news from the 2014 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Copenhagen, Denmark? Not to worry—our team of neuroscientists was there in full force, and now they’re sharing highlights from their favorite sessions on our blog.
With practical advice for caregivers, important information about the state of Alzheimer’s research and a moving record of her life after losing a loved one to the disease, Joan Sutton’s powerful new memoir is at once distinctive, instructive and deeply relatable. It's a must-read for anyone who has been affected by Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers funded by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation have identified a promising new drug that prevents the formation of abnormal blood clots in the brain, reduces cerebral inflammation and improves memory in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, RU-505, is a synthetic compound identified from an initial pool of nearly 95,000 drug candidates.
A century after Alois Alzheimer described a "peculiar case" of presenile dementia, researchers know more than ever before about the biology of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. But despite incredible progress, more than 59 percent of adults still believe that Alzheimer’s disease is a typical part of aging. This widespread misconception means that many individuals are going undiagnosed and untreated, and that crucial research towards a cure is going unfunded.
My husband and I had been together 26 years when he became one of nearly six million North Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Seven years later, I was an Alzheimer’s widow. As useful as support groups, information booklets and other sources of information were, what I wanted more than anything during those seven years as a caregiver was a drug that would alter the course of the disease. But there is no drug that will stop Alzheimer’s from progressing. There is no cure. And there are no survivors.
The search for drugs that slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease is no small task. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has long collaborated with a diverse group of public and private sector partners—like the National Institute on Aging, Merck and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration—to leverage our collective knowledge, experience and funding power. Our latest collaboration, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), is one of the most exciting examples to date.
Are cynical people more likely to develop dementia? According to a new study in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the answer is “yes”. The study, said to be the first to exclusively examine the link between cynicism and dementia, is just one of many to explore the psychological risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
His memory loss became apparent first. Like many people experiencing Alzheimer’s in its early stages, my father began misplacing important objects and forgetting the names of people. As the disease progressed, his conversational skills became increasingly impaired, but through all of his changes, our emotional bond remained strong.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the growing role of “virtual biotechs” in scientific breakthroughs and drug discovery. By eliminating the overhead typically associated with brick-and-mortar firms, virtual biotechs can drive drug discovery forward with lean budgets and novel science. The vast majority of the 62 biotechnology companies receiving funding from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) operate virtually. We have long-believed that investing in these businesses is an efficient way to fund high-risk and high-reward Alzheimer’s science.
The New York Times' recent Op-Ed (“A Cancer Treatment in Your Medicine Cabinet?,” May 19) highlights that—while it is possible that aspirin could benefit breast cancer patients—there have been no randomized trials testing this hypothesis because “no one stands to make money off aspirin.” These challenges also apply to many other prevalent diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Drugs already on the market today may benefit Alzheimer’s patients, a process called “repurposing,” but the barriers to investment in the necessary clinical research trials are considerable.