Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Nutrition / 26.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas M Holland, MD, MS Assistant Professor Rush Institute for Health Aging Rush College of Medicine & Rush College of Health Sciences https://www.rushu.rush.edu/faculty/thomas-m-holland-md-ms MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My late mentor Martha Clare Morris, ScD had published a manuscript investigating leafy green intake, and the nutrients found therein, and cognition. I wanted to take this thought a step further and investigate the potential association bioactives, found in vegetables, like leafy greens, has to cognition. Further, this is a continuation of the research I published in the green journal in 2020 associating flavonols to incident Alzheimer’s dementia. This study extends the understanding that flavonols are not only beneficial for the most detrimental outcome of Alzheimer’s dementia (in decreasing the risk), but also advantageous in mitigating components of the, clinical syndrome i.e. decreasing the rate of cognitive decline. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Nutrition / 14.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alessandro Palmioli PhD Cristina Airoldi PhD Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, NeuroMI, Center for Neuroscience, University of Milano-Bicocca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? beer-hopsResponse: We started many years ago by studying some natural and synthetic molecules that were able to counteract the early stages of this disease. With a view to early prevention, we wondered if these molecules could be routinely taken with the diet or dietary supplements. So our studies focused on the search for bioactive molecules present in food and edible plants. Hops are very rich in polyphenolic compounds, and for this reason it is historically used for the production of beer, but also for the preparation of herbal teas and infusions, and its uses in traditional medicine are known. In recent years we have also collected interesting results on Coffee, Sage, Radix Imperatoriae, Cocoa and Cinnamon extracts. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Infections, Parkinson's / 22.09.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiangwei Sun PhD Postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Jonas Ludvigsson's group Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A potential infectious etiology has been hypothesized for neurodegenerative diseases, as findings in animal studies have demonstrated that infectious processes might impact pathogenesis, phenotype, and progression of neurodegenerative disease. The extrapolation of such findings to a human context is however not straightforward. previous studies have mostly examined the role of specific pathogens on a specific neurodegenerative disease, e.g., herpesvirus for Alzheimer’s disease, and influenza, hepatitis C virus, and Helicobacter pylori for PD, with inconclusive results. Although several studies have also assessed associations between infectious diseases and risk of dementia and AD, influence of potential surveillance bias (greater-than-expected surveillance of disease after infections) and reverse causation (due to for example diagnostic delay of neurodegenerative diseases) on the associations was not always fully addressed. Therefore, whether infection is indeed a risk factor rather a comorbidity or secondary event of neurodegenerative disease remains unknown. In contrast to Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, the potential link between infection and ALS has been less explored. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCSF / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica Kornblith, PhD Assistant Professor, Psychiatry UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: As the population of the United States grows more diverse and dementia is a serious public health concern, we hoped to understand whether differences in dementia risk exist based on race or ethnicity.  Older studies have shown that Black and Hispanic folks have higher risk of dementia, perhaps due to medical risk factors, diagnostic bias, lack of equal access to health care and education, or the health effects of racism, among other factors.  However, these older studies have been small or limited geographically or by only studying a few race and ethnicity groups. Our study used a nationwide sample of almost two million older Veterans who all had access to care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and we examined 5 race or ethnicity groups: American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Our results show that dementia risk is higher for Black and Hispanic Veterans compared to white Veterans, even when education and medical factors are considered. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Nature / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael B. Miller, MD, PhD Instructor, Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by somatic genetic changes and how they might occur?  Response: Changes, also called mutations, in the DNA sequence of genes can be passed from parents to their children, and explain why many diseases run in families. This kind of DNA change is called a germline mutation and is present in every cell in a person’s body. Gene mutations can also occur in a subset of cells of a person, in which case they are called somatic mutations. Somatic mutations are well known as a cause of cancer, and recent research has found that somatic mutations can also happen in non-cancerous cells that appear otherwise normal. Recent studies have even found that somatic mutations are present in neurons, cells in the brain that transmit electrical signals and play an important role in how the brain functions. Furthermore, in neurons, somatic mutations increase with age, so we set out to understand if somatic mutations might be playing a role in age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Sleep Disorders / 18.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peng Li, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Research Director, Medical Biodynamics Program (MBP) Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Associate Physiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: People commonly see increased sleep during daytime in older adults. In people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, daytime drowsiness or sleepiness are even more common. Prior studies have showed protective effects of short naps on cognitive performance and alertness acutely, while also there are studies that have demonstrated more daytime naps are associated with faster cognitive decline in the long-term. We sought to investigate whether daytime napping behavior predicts future development of Alzheimer’s dementia. And we noted that there had been no studies to date that have documented the longitudinal profile of daytime napping during late life objectively. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan Willem van Dalen, PhD Department of Neurology Donders Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Cognition Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen Department of Neurology The Netherlands3Department of Public and Occupational Health Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although high systolic blood pressure in midlife has consistently been reported as a condition that increases the risk of developing dementia in old age, reports regarding this relationship in older people have been inconsistent. One potential reason for this, is that the relationship between systolic blood pressure and dementia in later life may be U-shaped, meaning that both individuals with low and with high systolic blood pressure are at increased incident dementia risk. This study combined data from several longitudinal cohort studies specifically designed to study incident dementia in older people, to investigate whether these U-shaped relationships exist, and in which age ranges they appear. We included more than 16,500 people aged 60 and older, with over 2,700 incident dementia cases. Also, we aimed to investigate whether these observational associations might be caused by confounding, differences in mortality, or result from opposite relationships between certain subgroups of individuals. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 06.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cecilia S. Lee, MD, MS Associate Professor,Director, Clinical Research Department of Ophthalmology Harborview Medical Center University of Washington Seattle, WA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cataract is a natural aging process of the eye and affects the majority of older adults who are at risk for dementia. Sensory loss, including vision and hearing, is of interest to the research community as a possible risk factor for dementia, and also as a potential point of intervention. Because cataract surgery improves visual function, we hypothesized that older people who undergo cataract surgery may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer disease and dementia. We used the longitudinal data from an ongoing, prospective, community based cohort, Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. The ACT study includes over 5000 participants to date who are dementia free at recruitment and followed until they develop Alzheimer disease or dementia. We had access to their extensive medical history including comprehensive ophthalmology visit data. We investigated whether cataract surgery was associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer disease and dementia.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease / 23.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruno Caramelli MD PhD Associate Professor of Medicine University of Sao Paulo, Brasil Director, Interdisciplinary Medicine in Cardiology Unit Chairman of the PhD program in Medical Sciences at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. President of the Department of Clinical Cardiology at the Brazilian Society of Cardiology FESC: Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in older adults, and it is associated with an increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment, and dementia. Stroke can occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, and oral anticoagulants, such as dabigatran and warfarin, are typically prescribed to prevent stroke. Dabigatran has been found to be comparable to warfarin for the prevention of stroke and also has a lower risk of major bleeding complications. Previous research has shown that people with atrial fibrillation taking oral anticoagulation therapy have a lower risk of dementia, however, the mechanism involved in this benefit is unknown, and previous clinical trials have not evaluated cognitive and functional impairment outcomes among patients. It’s possible that cognitive decline is related to the formation of small blood clots in the brain, which is treated by effective medications that prevent blood clots. Since dabigatran offers a more stable anticoagulation status, we investigated whether it would be more effective than warfarin for the prevention of cognitive decline in patients with atrial fibrillation. Previous studies were retrospective and observational studies and considered tests that evaluate global cognitive function in a generic, global, and non-specific way. In that way its not possible to exclude different causes of dementia as Alzheimer's disease and others making it difficult to establish an effect directly related to atrial fibrillation or the anticoagulation treatment. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers / 11.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua D. Grill, PhD Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior School of Medicine Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior School of Biological Sciences University of California, Irvine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health challenge. More than 6 million Americans have the disease, which causes cognitive problems and eventual dependence on others for daily function. Scientists understand that the disease begins in the brain years before memory and other thinking problems begin and the AHEAD Study aims to intervene in this window of time, to see if a drug that targets these brain changes can delay or prevent symptoms of the disease.   (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 15.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annakaisa Haapasalo, PhD Adjunct Professor Research Director (Associate Professor A.I. Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences Molecular Neurodegeneration University of Eastern Finland | UEF |   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? At what age might these changes be present? Response: Our research team is interested in understanding the underlying disease mechanisms and developing biomarkers for frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is the second most common cause of dementia in the working age population. Presently, no efficient therapies exist for FTD, it is challenging to diagnose, and the disease mechanisms of different types of FTD remain largely unclear. We are especially interested in FTD associated with the C9orf72 repeat expansion because it is the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia and exceptionally prevalent in Finnish FTD patients. Many current studies of FTD and C9orf72 repeat expansion have largely concentrated on examining neurons, as these are the principle CNS cells that are affected in neurodegeneration. Neurons are also one of our key research interests, but obtaining neurons directly from living patients is difficult in many ways. Therefore, we became interested in exploring the FTD patient skin fibroblasts with the idea in mind that they might represent more easily accessible patient-derived cells than neurons for trying to decipher disease mechanisms of FTD. Moreover, we were interested in finding out if these cells show any specific alterations or deficiencies that could be utilized later on in biomarker studies or testing drug effects.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Pulmonary Disease, University of Michigan / 16.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Galit Levi Dunietz  MPH, PhD Assistant Professor

Tiffany Braley, MD, MS Associate Professor

University of Michigan, Medical School Department of Neurology Department of Nutritional Sciences Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5845 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia is a public health crisis that affects more than 6 million Americans.  As no treatments to effectively reverse dementia are currently available, interest has shifted toward modifiable risk factors for dementia, which may offer a critical window for prevention or intervention. Recent research suggests that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common, yet undiagnosed, risk factor for cognition impairment in older adults. However, few studies have examined whether treatment of OSA with positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy could protect those with OSA against developing dementia, says principal investigator, Dr. Tiffany Braley, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Neurology from the University of Michigan. To address this gap, Dr. Braley and Dr. Galit Levi Dunietz, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor and sleep epidemiologist, examined associations between PAP therapy use and 3-year incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or other forms of dementia (DNOS, “dementia not otherwise specified”). (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Eli Lilly, NEJM / 16.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen Salloway, M.D., M.S. Director of Neurology and the Memory and Aging Program, Butler Hospital Martin M. Zucker Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Professor of Neurology, Alpert Medical School of Brown University Providence, RI 02906  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This 78 week phase 2 study tested donanemab in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. Donanemab is a an anti-amyloid monoclonal antibody that targets the N3 pyroglutamate epitope.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The drug produced a substantial lowering of amyloid plaques and showed a slowing in cognitive decline. Key innovations included using PET scans to ensure all patients were amyloid positive and had a moderate level of tau build-up and switching from drug to placebo once the amyloid level was below the expected cut-off for Alzheimer’s disease. There were no new safety signals. The main side-effect was amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) that have been seen with other anti-amyloid treatments. ARIA is managed with regular safety MRI scans.  Donanemab is now being tested in a larger phase 3 trial that could lead to regulatory approval. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, UCSD / 03.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Steven L. Wagner PhD University of California, San Diego Department of Neurosciences Professor in Residence School of Medicine, Medical Teaching Facility Room 150 La Jolla, California 92093-0624  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Amyloid plaques are pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—clumps of misfolded proteins that accumulate in the brain, disrupting and killing neurons and resulting in the progressive cognitive impairment that is characteristic of the widespread neurological disorder.  Amyloid plaques are composed of small protein fragments called amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides. These peptides are generated by enzymes called β-secretase and γ-secretase, which sequentially cleave a protein called amyloid precursor protein on the surfaces of neurons to release Aβ fragments of varying lengths. Some of these fragments, such as Aβ42, are particularly prone to forming plaques, and their production is elevated in patients with mutations predisposing them to early-onset AD. Several attempts have been made to treat or prevent AD using drugs that inhibit either β-secretase or γ-secretase, but many of these drugs have proved to be highly toxic or unsafe in humans, likely because β-secretase and γ-secretase are required to cleave additional proteins in the brain and other organs. Instead, Wagner and colleagues investigated the therapeutic potential of drugs known as γ-secretase modulators or GSMs, which instead of inhibiting the γ-secretase enzyme, slightly alter its activity so that it produces fewer Aβ peptides that are prone to form plaques while continuing to duties cleaving other protein targets. “GSMs offer the ability to mitigate mechanism-based toxicities associated with γ-secretase inhibitors,” said Wagner.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Memory, Surgical Research / 23.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pascual Sánchez-Juan, MD, PhD Servicio de Neurología Hospital Universitario "Marqués de Valdecilla" Unidad de Deterioro Cognitivo https://www.facebook.com/deteriorocognitivovaldecilla Director científico Biobanco Valdecilla Avda Marqués de Valdecilla s/n  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest public health challenges. From the moment the first lesions appear in the brain to the clinical manifestations, up to 20 years can pass. Today we can detect the presence of these initial lesions through biochemical markers such as amyloid-β, which is one of the main proteins accumulated in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. The prevalence of cerebral amyloid-β pathology in cognitively asymptomatic individuals increases with age. It has been estimated that 21.1% of the population at the age of 65 will have a positive amyloid scan or a pathological cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid-β determination, and which will double by the age of 90. Due to the aging of our societies and advances made in medical care, an increasing number of elderly and more fragile people are considered candidates for major surgery. In preoperative screenings, respiratory and cardiovascular functions are routinely checked; however, it is not commonly assessed how the brain is going to cope with the intervention. In the clinic, the patient’s relatives frequently tell us that the memory problems began after a surgical procedure or a hospital admission. This posed us the following question: is this just a recall bias or has surgery triggered the appearance of the symptoms in a previously affected brain?” (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, Nutrition / 11.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Auriel Willette, PhD Assistant Professor Food Science and Human Nutrition Iowa State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To date, pharmacology therapies done to slow down or halt Alzheimer's disease have been inconclusive. Lifestyle interventions like changes in diet and activity are also mixed but do show some promise. Dietary clinical trials or self-reported diet have tended to focus on groups of foods such as the Mediterranean or MIND diet. To build from this excellent work, we were curious if we could pinpoint specific foods that were correlated with changes in fluid intelligence over time. Fluid intelligence represents our ability to creatively use existing knowledge, working memory, and other components of "thinking flexibly." Further, we tested if these patterns of association differed based on genetic risk. In this case, genetic risk was defined as having a family history of Alzheimer's disease or having 1-2 "bad" copies of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, which is the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Medical Imaging, Mental Health Research / 01.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Vittoria Spampinato, MD Neuroradiology Division Director Department of Radiology and Radiological Science Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC 29425-3230 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents a major public health crisis worldwide. More than 5 million people currently have AD in the United States. AD is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative brain disorder with a long preclinical phase. Many people with AD first suffer from mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a decline in cognitive abilities like memory and thinking skills that is greater than that associated with normal aging. A person with MCI is at an increased risk of developing AD or another dementia, although some individuals with MCI remain cognitively stable or improve. Anxiety is frequently observed in individuals with MCI. The reported prevalence of anxiety in MCI patients varies between 10 and 50%.  In this study we evaluated a cohort of 339 individuals with MCI participating in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study (ADNI2). During the five years of study participation, 72 patients experienced cognitive decline and were diagnosed with AD. We did not find difference in age, gender and education among patients with and without AD conversion. Patients who progressed had greater atrophy of the hippocampi and entorhinal cortex on their MRI scan, as expected (hippocampal atrophy is often used as a marker of neurodegeneration in AD), as well as greater prevalence of APOE4 is the strongest known genetic risk factor for AD.   Patients who progressed to Alzheimer’s disease also had greater severity of anxiety during the study, as measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire. Next we determined the effect of the MRI findings (hippocampal and entorhinal cortex atrophy), of the genetic risk factor (APOE4) and of the severity of anxiety on the time to progression to AD. We found that higher levels of anxiety were associated with faster progression from MCI to AD, independently of whether they had a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease or brain volume loss. We still need to understand better the association between anxiety disorders and cognitive decline. We do not know whether increased levels of anxiety are a consequence of cognitive decline or if anxiety exacerbates to cognitive decline. If we were able to find in the future that anxiety is actually contributing to cognitive decline, then we should more aggressively screen for anxiety disorders in the elderly population.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Lipids, Mental Health Research, Microbiome / 18.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Moira Marizzoni, PhD Researcher, Fatebenefratelli Center in Brescia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Still incurable, it directly affects nearly one million people in Europe, and indirectly millions of family members as well as society as a whole. The gut microbiota could play a role in brain diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Some gut bacteria components or products can reach the brain via the blood and might promote brain amyloidosis (one of the main pathological features in Alzheimer’s disease).   MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: This study evaluated a cohort of 89 people between 65 and 85 years of age composed of subjects suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases causing similar memory problems, and of subjects with no memory problems. The study revealed that elevated levels of microbiota-products with known pro-inflammatory properties (i.e. lipopolysaccharides and the short chain fatty acids acetate and valerate) were associated with greater cerebral amyloid pathology while elevated levels of those with anti-inflammatory properties (i.e. the short chain fatty acid butyrate) were associated with lower amyloid pathology. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Infections / 01.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hariom Yadav, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine Wake Forest School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As gut microbiota is linked with all kind of known human diseases, however, commonly studied microorganisms are bacteria. Our study is first-of-its kind to discover the role of fungi living in our gut to influence our brain health like Alzheimer’s disease pathology in humans. It also describes that a Mediterranean ketogenic diet can beneficially change fungi and bacteria populations to improve brain health.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Neurology, UCSF / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laure Rouch, PharmD PhD Department of Psychiatry Dr. Kristine Yaffe, MD (Senior Author) Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Epidemiology University of California San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia and this number is set to triple by 2050. Prevention of dementia and identification of potentially modifiable risk factors are, therefore, critically important. Postural changes in blood pressure increase with advancing age and affect 20% to 30% of older adults. Yet it has not been explored deeply how orthostatic hypotension and blood pressure postural changes variability over time are associated with dementia risk. As multiple pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions may improve orthostatic symptoms, this question has major public health implications. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pamela Maher, PhD Senior Staff Scientist Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory Salk Institute for Biological Studies  Dr. Pamela Maher, is a senior staff scientist in the lab of Salk Professor David Schubert. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An estimated 5.2 million Americans over the age of 65 currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). There are no treatments that prevent, slow down or cure it. Moreover, the number of people suffering from it is expected to grow with the increase in the aging population. To meet this challenge, the NIH has set the ambitious goal of effectively treating AD by 2025. This will require the development of new disease-modifying drugs. Indeed, compared to cancer research, the drug discovery pipelines for AD are very limited. A missing key ingredient that is needed to re-invigorate AD-related drug discovery is new, promising AD drug targets. Our lab is experienced in screening existing (natural) compounds for their protective abilities against several toxicities related to AD. Protective compounds are then further optimized to generate drug candidates with a favorable profile for the treatment of brain diseases. CMS121 is such a compound which is derived from fisetin, a natural product that can be found in many fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, grapes, cucumbers. Fisetin itself is not as potent and does not have the necessary chemical features to reach the brain efficiently. CMS121 is more potent and easily reaches the brain. We had previously shown that CMS121 improves several age-related cognitive dysfunctions.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Lipids / 14.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manja Koch, Ph.D., Research Associate Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Majken K. Jensen, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health & Professor in the Department of Public Health University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are highly prevalent conditions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias worldwide. Lower apolipoprotein E in plasma is a risk factor for dementia, but the underlying biological mechanisms are not fully understood. Thus, we investigated the role of apolipoprotein E overall and in lipoproteins with distinct metabolic functions in relation to cognitive function and dementia risk.. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues / 28.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joanne Ryan, PhD Senior Research Fellow, ASPREE From the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Monash University Melbourne, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Aspirin is a commonly used drug known to reduce inflammation, and prevent blood clotting (antiplatelet) - which is why it is commonly used in secondary prevention in individuals with established cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is thought to be a central mechanism in Alzheimer's disease, implicated in the neuropathological cascade leading to the development of dementia and other forms of dementia. Cardiovascular risk factors and stroke are both associated with cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia. This formed the basis of the hypothesis that aspirin could be beneficial in helping to reduce cognitive decline and the occurrence of Alzheimer's Disease. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, USPSTF / 04.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H. Director, the Mayo Clinic Center Health Equity and Community Engagement Research Department of Family Medicine Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cognitive impairment is a serious public health problem that affects millions of Americans as they age; it can lead to frustrating challenges that impact their everyday lives, such as trouble remembering, learning new things, or organizing their thoughts. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Hearing Loss / 28.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julia Sarant, PhD Associate Professor Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Melbourne School of Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia is a rapidly growing global problem. Hearing loss has been identified by the Lancet Commissions as a modifiable risk factor for dementia. There is no treatment for dementia. This study investigated the effect of hearing aid use on cognition over time in older adults, objectively assessing hearing loss treatment, compliance and benefits while controlling for the effects of other known risk factors for dementia.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease / 25.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Konstantinos Stellos, MD, DM, MRCP, DSc, FAHA, FESC Professor of Medicine, Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, Chair of Epitranscriptomics Lead, Vascular Biology & Medicine Theme Hon. Consultant Cardiologist, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Biosciences Institute Faculty of Medical Sciences Newcastle University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this seminar? Can you tell us a little about how amyloid is made and stored? Response: Patients are afraid that they may die due to a heart attack - a major cause of death worldwide- or if they live long they may get dementia compromising severely their quality of life in their last years of life. Many years ago we asked the question whether there is a link between these two ageing-associated diseases. For this reason we studied the clinical value of amyloid-beta peptides in patients with coronary heart disease. We chose to study the amyloid-beta peptides, which are the cleavage product of the beta- and gamma-secretases of the mother protein amyloid precursor protein, because amyloid-beta plaques in brain is the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Following amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene transcription, APP is cleaved in the nonamyloidogenic pathway (plasma membrane) by α- and γ- secretases or in the amyloidogenic pathway (endosomes) by β- and γ- secretases. The later pathway generates amyloid beta (Αβ) peptides that are released extracellularly. Αβ accumulation in blood or tissues may result from enhanced production/cleavage or by impaired degradation and/or clearance. The related mechanisms are depicted in Figure 2 of our publication in JACC: http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/75/8/952  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, McGill, Neurology, Technology / 28.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yasser Iturria-Medina PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery Associate member of the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health McConnell Brain Imaging Centre McGill University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As background, two main points:
  • Almost all molecular (gene expression) analyses performed in neurodegeneration are based on snapshots data, taking at one or a few time points covering the disease's large evolution. Because neurodegenerative diseases take decades to develop, until now we didn't have a dynamical characterization of these diseases. Our study tries to overcome such limitation, proposing a data-driven methodology to study long term dynamical changes associated to disease.
Also, we still lacked robust minimally invasive and low-cost biomarkers of individual neuropathological progression. Our method is able to offer both in-vivo and post-mortem disease staging highly predictive of neuropathological and clinical alterations. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Technology / 08.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr.med.univ. Roland Beisteiner Department of Neurology Laboratory for Functional Brain Diagnostics and Therapy High Field MR Center, Medical University of Vienna Vienna, Austria MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background is the development of a new brain therapy which allows to support brain regeneration by activation of neurons with pulsed ultrasound. Main findings are that Alzheimer's patients improve their memory up to 3 months. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Medical Imaging, UCSF / 06.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William G. Mantyh, MD Clinical Fellow, UCSF Memory and Aging Center Weill Institute for Neurosciences UCSF MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Similar to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementing illnesses, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition associated with abnormally folded tau protein in the brain. CTE is thought to be caused by exposure to repetitive head trauma, and recently has been the subject of intense media coverage given the frequency of CTE found in brains of deceased former American professional football players. CTE is almost impossible to confidently diagnose during life as the symptoms are diverse and vary from patient-to-patient. Symptoms can include impairments in memory, multi-tasking, behavioral/mood regulation, and movement. As there are no blood, imaging, or other tests for this disease, one active area of research is developing a test to help doctors diagnose this condition. As tau tangles in CTE are similar in many respects to those in Alzheimer’s disease, there was hope that PET tracers that detect tau in AD might also work in CTE. Flortaucipir (FTP) is probably the most widely used tau tracer in AD. Recent work has reported some signal from FTP-PET in symptomatic former NFL players and other patients at risk for CTE (Stern et al. New Engl Jour Med 2019; Lesman-Segev et al. Neuroimage Clinical 2019). The overall signal was lower than that observed in Alzheimer’s disease, and, in lieu of correlations with post-mortem findings, it was unclear how well FTP binds to tau pathology in CTE. (more…)