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…)
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…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cognitive Issues / 05.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yangfeng Wu Peking University Clinical Research Institute Peking University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: It is well-established that elevated blood pressure (BP) at single time point can contribute to increased risks of suffering accelerated cognitive decline, dementia, and mortality. Nevertheless, BP levels could experience significant alterations as time goes, indicating the necessity of monitoring BP longitudinally. In other words, using blood pressure levels measured at baseline to predict future outcomes in a longitudinal cohort with a long-term follow-up period ≥20 years, becomes controversial. Cumulative BP levels have been indicated as a feasible approach for evaluating long-term exposure of BP levels, which might have the ability to respond to this controversy. This is the main reason why we performed this research to evaluate the predictive values of cumulative BP levels, especially additional values beyond baseline blood pressure levels, for future neurocognitive and longevity outcomes. (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…)
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…)
Abuse and Neglect, BMJ, Cognitive Issues, Occupational Health / 24.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Mika Kivimaki PhD Director, Whitehall II Study Dept. of Epidemiology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Lancet 2020 Commission on Dementia Prevention, which is the most comprehensive and up-to-date review on the evidence in this field, did not list cognitive stimulation in adulthood as a protective factor against dementia. This was because trials results are inconsistent and observational studies suggest that leisure time cognitive activity does not reduce risk of dementia. However, it was unclear whether the reason for modest findings is that the decrease in brain plasticity with age prevents cognitive activities across adult life from conferring protection against dementia, or, in the case of interventions, that the cognitive stimulation studied has not been intensive or engaging enough to preserve cognitive function. To address this question, we decided to focus on cognitive stimulation at work rather than leisure time cognitive activity or cognitive interventions. We thought that this approach would allow us to detect an effect, if there is one, because exposure to cognitive stimulation at work typically lasts considerably longer than cognitively stimulating hobbies or cognitive interventions. We contacted 13 cohort studies in Europe which had data on cognitive stimulation at work. Seven had also a dementia follow-up and were selected to our analyses, a total of 107 896 dementia-free participants from the UK, France, Sweden and Finland. Follow-up of incident dementia varied between 13.7 to 30.1 years depending on the cohort. 1143 people developed dementia during this follow-up. (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, 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, 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, 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, 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…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cognitive Issues, Social Issues / 27.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nancy J. Donovan, M.D. Chief, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry Brigham and Women’s Hospital Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior research has shown that widowed older adults are more likely to experience cognitive decline than those who are married. However, there have been no prior studies of widowhood as a risk factor for cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of severe cognitive impairment. (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, Memory, Pharmacology / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James O’Donnell, PhD Dean and professor Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy Ying Xu, MD, PhD Research associate professor University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesYing Xu, MD, PhD Research associate professor University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have been studying cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE), an enzyme, for quite a while as a potential target for neuropsychiatric disease.  One aspect involves the effects of PDE inhibitors on memory.  This was prompted by our earlier finding that one form of the enzyme, PDE4, is in the NMDA receptor signaling pathway in neurons; this pathway has been implicated in memory.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chenlu Gao, MA Graduate Student Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Baylor University Michael Scullin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Baylor University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: According to the World Alzheimer Report, dementia affects 50 million adults worldwide, and this number is expected to approach 131 million by 2050. Dementia patients often require assistance with daily activities from caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association reported that, in the United States, 16 million caregivers spend on average 21.9 hours per week providing care for patients with dementia. Being a caregiver is stressful, which not only challenges emotional, cognitive, and physical health, but is also associated with shorter and poorer sleep at night. If a caregiver cannot obtain restorative sleep at night, their quality of life and their abilities to perform the caregiving role can be compromised. For example, sleep loss may jeopardize caregivers’ memory, causing them to forget medications or medical appointments for the patients. Sleep loss can also impair immune functions, causing the caregivers to suffer from illnesses. In the long-term, sleep loss is associated with cortical thinning and accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau, which increase the risks of dementia. Undoubtedly, there is a need to systematically study whether caregivers sleep less or worse during the night and whether we can improve their sleep quality through low-cost behavioral interventions. To answer these questions, we systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed 35 studies with data from 3,268 caregivers of dementia patients.     (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Memory / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Claude Alain PhD Senior Scientist Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adults carrying a gene associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease had a harder time accessing recently acquired knowledge, even though they didn’t show any symptoms of memory problems.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: Researchers found that older adults carrying a specific strain of the gene, apolipoprotein E4, otherwise known as APOE4, weren’t able to tap into information they had just learned to assist them on a listening test. These findings suggest greater difficulty for these individuals to access knowledge from their memory to guide their attention in ways that would have improved their performance. This work could lead to the development of new ways to detect individuals at risk. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 31.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amy Dunn, PhD Kaczorowski lab The Jackson Laboratory  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Environmental factors, such as a poor diet, are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. But the mechanisms are complex, and it is not known how such environmental perturbations interact with individual genetic variation to confer disease risk. Previous studies have not adequately addressed how the combination of genetic variant and environmental factors combine to alter cognitive response to a poor diet. To investigate gene-by-environment interactions, we fed either a normal diet or a high-fat diet to a genetically diverse Alzheimer’s disease mouse model population starting at six months of age and monitored metabolic and cognitive function. We observed accelerated working memory decline in the mice on the high-fat diet after eight weeks, with substantial gene-by diet effects on both cognitive and metabolic traits. Metabolic dysfunction was more closely related to cognitive function in mice carrying Alzheimer’s mutations than in those without. Interestingly, the high-fat diet affected metabolic function differently in female versus male mice.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Sleep Disorders / 21.06.2019

sleep-alzheimers-dementia-insomniaSleep patterns can predict the increase of Alzheimer’s pathology proteins tau and β-amyloid later in life, according to a June 2019 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The findings shed hope on earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and the adoption of preventive measures earlier in life. Researchers found a decrease in sleep spindle synchronization, which is linked to higher tau levels. Reduced amplitude of slow wave activity, meanwhile, is closely related to higher β-amyloid levels. In younger people, both slow oscillations and sleep spindles are synchronized. This changes as people grow older, with less coordination between the two being visible. The researchers also noted that subjects who slept less had a higher chance of having Alzheimer’s proteins when they were older. The findings show that both reduced sleep quantity and quality can serve as important warnings of the onset of Alzheimer’s. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Merck, NEJM / 10.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael F. Egan, MDVice President,  NeuroscienceGlobal Clinical DevelopmentMerck Research LaboratoriesNorth Wales, PAMichael F. Egan, MD Vice President,  Neuroscience Global Clinical Development Merck Research Laboratories North Wales, PA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) appears to be due to the gradual accumulation of amyloid over many years (the “amyloid hypothesis”). At some point, it is thought that amyloid triggers abnormalities in tau, which then forms deposits within neurons and leads to progressive neurodegeneration. Amyloid is made up of  a small, sticky peptide, Abeta, which is produced when the enzyme BACE cleaves a large protein called APP.  In our trial, we tested whether a potent BACE inhibitor, verubecestat, could slow disease progression in subjects with early AD (or prodromal AD) by blocking formation of Abeta.  A previous trial in subjects with dementia due to AD failed to find evidence of efficacy. One possible reason for this failure is that subjects had too much amyloid in their brain already. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews / 12.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elena LeychenkoElena Leychenko is a senior research associate at PIBOC (G.B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry which is the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences), assistant professor, and lecturer at the chair of bioorganic chemistry and biotechnology of the School of Natural Sciences Far Eastern Federal University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Sea anemones are the main object for study in the laboratory for peptide chemistry of PIBOC. These marine dwellers are very interesting for scientists because of a wide range of biologically active compounds, which are the main components of their venom. The development of modern research methods allows us to receive both major and minor components of that poison, and to study their medical properties. Interestingly, inhibitors of Kunitz-type proteinases, which are also content in sea anemones, can be used as anti-inflammatory compounds. In particular, in complex therapy, it could be applied in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.  (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, CMAJ, Genetic Research / 06.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Professor, Chief Physician, MD, DMSc, PhD Department of Clinical Biochemistry Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej & Deputy Head Department of Clinical Medicine Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are devastating, neurodegenerative disorders affecting more than 47 million people in 2015, a number projected to triple by 2050 (1,2). Available curative treatments are lacking, and no useful risk prediction tools exist. The potential for prevention is however substantial, emphasized by the recently observed incidence decline in Western societies, likely caused by improved treatment and prevention of vascular risk factors (1,3,4). Population growth and aging, will however triple dementia prevalence by 2050, if no action is taken. Acting now with ambitious preventive interventions, delaying onset of disease by five years, is estimated to halve the prevalence globally (1,5). Despite important preventive efforts over the last decades - resulting in decreased smoking, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels in the general population - physical inactivity, overweight, and diabetes remain threats for our health care system, and in particular for cardiovascular disease and dementia. Intensifying preventive efforts in general is thus of crucial importance, and especially for those patients at highest risk who most likely will benefit the most from early and targeted prevention. Risk stratification and specific treatment goals according to the estimated absolute 10-year risk, has been implemented in cardiovascular disease for years (6,7). There is an un-met need for similar strategies in dementia, underscored by the publication of several randomized multicomponent trials that seem to improve or maintain brain function in at-risk elderly people from the general population (8-10) (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders / 07.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Woman sleeping” by Timothy Krause is licensed under CC BY 2.0Nathan E. Cross PhD, first author School of Psychology. Sharon L. Naismith, PhD, senior author Leonard P Ullman Chair in Psychology Brain and Mind Centre Neurosleep, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence The University of Sydney, Australia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Between 30 to 50% of the risk for dementia is due to modifiable risk factors such depression, hypertension, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes and smoking. In recent years, multiple longitudinal cohort studies have observed a link between sleep apnoea and a greater risk (1.85 to 2.6 times more likely) of developing cognitive decline and dementia.  Furthermore, one study in over 8000 people also indicated that the presence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in older adults was associated with an earlier age of cognitive decline, and that treatment of OSA may delay the onset of cognitive impairment. This study reveals important insights into how sleep disorders such as OSA may impact the brain in older adults, as it is associated with widespread structural alterations in diverse brain regions. We found that reduced blood oxygen levels during sleep are related to reduced thickness of the brain's cortex in both the left and right temporal areas - regions that are important in memory and are early sites of injury in Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, reduced thickness in these regions was associated with poorer ability to learn new information, thereby being the first to link this structural change to memory decline. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Personalized Medicine, University of Pennsylvania / 15.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A. Wolk, MD Associate Professor Department of Neurology Co-Director, Penn Memory Center Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a state when individuals have mild memory problems, but not enough to impact day-to-day function.  Many patients with MCI are on the trajectory to developing Alzheimer’s Disease dementia, but about half will not and remain stable.  As such, patients with MCI are often uncertain about the likelihood they should expect to decline in the future which obviously may be associated with considerable anxiety and this may delay opportunities for them to plan for the future or begin therapeutic interventions. This study examined the degree to which amyloid PET, which detects the amyloid pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease, a measure of shrinkage of the hippocampus with MRI, and cognitive measures predicted development of dementia over 3 years.  We found that each of these measures enhances prediction of whether an individual will or will not develop dementia in the future.  If all of these measures are positive, one has a very high risk of progression whereas if amyloid PET and the MRI measurement are normal, there is very little risk of progression. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, NIH, PNAS, Sleep Disorders / 19.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nora D. Volkow MD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Findings from animal studies had shown that sleep deprivation increased the content of beta-amyloid in brain, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.  We wanted to test whether this also happened in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. We found that indeed one night of sleep deprivation led to an accumulation of beta amyloid in the human brain, which suggest that one of the reasons why we sleep is to help clean our brain of degradation products that if not removed are toxic to brain cells.  (more…)
ALS, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA / 09.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Celeste Karch, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Molecular mechanisms underlying tauopathies Washington University School of Medicine St Louis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nearly half of all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neuromuscular disorder, develop cognitive problems that affect memory and thinking. Why a disease that primarily affects movement also disrupts thinking has been unclear. Our findings suggest that genetic connections between the two disorders may explain why they share some of the same features and suggest that some drugs developed to treat ALS also may work against frontotemporal dementia and vice versa. We used a statistical method in almost 125,000 individuals with ALS, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease to determine whether there are common genetic variants that increase risk for multiple neurodegenerative diseases. We found that common variants near the MAPT gene, which makes the tau protein, increases risk for ALS. MAPT has previously had been associated with diseases including frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But the gene hadn’t been linked to ALS. We also identified variations in a second gene, BNIP1, which normally plays an important role in protecting against cell death, increased the risk of both ALS and frontotemporal dementia. ImportantlyBNIP1 mRNA levels were altered in people who had ALS and in patients with frontotemporal dementia, suggesting the BNIP1 may be a potential therapeutic target for both disorders. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews / 06.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Claude Wischik Co-Founder and Executive Chairman TauRx Pharmaceuticals MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study TRx-237-005 was the second of two Phase 3 trials conducted by TauRx, and was specifically set up to investigate the efficacy and safety of LMTX® in 800 patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease at a dose of 100 mg twice daily compared to 4 mg twice daily (intended as an inactive control dose) over an 18-month treatment period. Results from this study were found to be consistent with those from the first Phase 3 study in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, published in The Lancet [(TRx-237-015) Gauthier et al. 2016], indicating that patients obtained no benefit from LMTX® when it was taken in combination with existing approved drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and supporting the hypothesis that LMTX® might be effective as monotherapy at doses as low as 4 mg twice daily. Please refer to the press release for full study results.   (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, Nature / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Miguel Chillon PhD Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Universitat Autonoma Barcelona Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Klotho is a protein with an anti-aging and neuroprotective role. Recent studies show it prevents the development of cognitive problems associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease. Klotho works mainly by inhibiting the insulin / IGF-1 signaling pathway and decreasing the damage caused by oxidative stress in the brain. One of the latest results revealed that the concentration of Klotho in cerebrospinal fluid is significantly lower in Alzheimer's patients than in human controls of the same age; and it is lower in the elderly with respect to young adults. Our study used a gene therapy strategy to introduce the Klotho gene into the Central Nervous System of adult animals. With just a single injection of the Klotho gene, young adult animals were protected over time from the cognitive decline associated with aging in old animals. These exciting results pave the way to further advances in research and the development of a neuroprotective therapy based on Klotho. (more…)