Alzheimer's Matters Blog

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.

New Drug Offers Promise to Patients with Alzheimer’s

07/22/2014

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.

The Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Normal Cognitive Aging

07/17/2014

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.

An Alzheimer’s Widow Finds Hope in Drug Discovery

06/30/2014

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.

Joining Forces with Industry Leaders to End Alzheimer’s

06/27/2014

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.

The Psychological Risk Factors for Dementia

06/18/2014

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.

My Father’s Battle with Alzheimer’s Disease

06/12/2014

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.

Investing in Virtual Biotechs Can Maximize Lean Drug Discovery Budgets

06/10/2014

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.

An Alzheimer’s Treatment in Your Medicine Cabinet?

06/05/2014

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.

Will the First Effective Alzheimer’s Treatment Be a Repurposed Drug?

05/23/2014

We spoke to Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, about his research into repurposed drugs, his passion for Alzheimer's--and what it felt like to watch a crowd raise more than $1.1 million to support his research. Here, we share highlights from the interview, which emphasizes the incredible promise repurposed drugs offer to people with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Your Questions About Women & Alzheimer’s Disease

05/21/2014

We all have questions about Alzheimer's disease and dementia. What research should we trust? How are women, in particular, affected? Dr. Howard Fillit, executive director and chief science director of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), answers audience questions about the link between estrogen and Alzheimer's, normal memory loss versus troubling memory loss, and much more in a fascinating 15-minute Q&A during the ADDF's 4th Annual Great Ladies Luncheon and Fashion Show.