Alzheimer’s: Darkening Corners of Once Bright Minds

November 26th 1901 saw the German psychiatrist and neuropathologist, Alois Alzheimer, historically cement his observations of the first woman to ever be diagnosed with the condition, Auguste Deter, 51 years old.  ‘She sits on the bed with a helpless expression… she looked as if she didn’t understand the question… she … Continue reading

Drugs for Different Conditions May Have Potential to Fight Alzheimer’s

UK researchers have suggested existing drugs for conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes could have potential benefits for people with Alzheimer’s. The review paper is published on Wednesday 31 October 2012 in the journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. The researchers carried out a review of existing evidence for … Continue reading

Feeling Lonely Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia

Scientists in the Netherlands have found that people who feel lonely – distinct from their actual social situation – are more likely to develop dementia later in life. The research, which is part of the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly, is published online on 10 December in the Journal of … Continue reading

Research Studies Reveal Clues to Keeping the Brain Healthy

Three studies have been presented at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, shedding more light on the factors that might influence brain health in ageing. The first study was led by scientists from the University of California in Los Angeles, who studied data from a group … Continue reading

Inflammatory Proteins Linked to Alzheimer’s

Scientists have identified a molecular chain of events thought to drive inflammation during Alzheimer’s, and shown that blocking this cascade could reduce signs of the disease in mice. The findings are published in the journal Nature. The study, a collaborative effort between scientists in Germany, Spain and the US, focused … Continue reading

Scientists Protect Nerve Cells from Toxic Effect of Alzheimer’s Protein

Research published this week has identified a gene called Hes1, which appears to protect nerve cells from the toxic effects of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid. The study is published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy. One of the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease is the build-up of a protein … Continue reading

Scottish and US Studies Highlight Link Between Physical Activity and Brain Health

Two research studies published today suggest that physical activity may not only protect against signs of brain ageing in people in their 70’s, but it is also associated with lower rates of dementia in people over the age of 90. Signs of brain ageing Scientists from the University of Edinburgh … Continue reading

New Trial Shows Gingko Biloba Extract Does Not Prevent Alzheimer’s

A major five-year trial of gingko biloba extract in elderly people has shown the supplement does not prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The study is published on Thursday 6 September in the journal Lancet Neurology. Researchers in France, led by a team at the University of Toulouse III, studied … Continue reading

Protein Linked to Dementia Protection in Families

A study has shed light on successful cognitive aging by revealing that high levels of a protein in people over the age of 75 are associated with a lower risk of dementia in close family members. The findings are reported online on 15 August in the journalNeurology. Researchers set out … Continue reading

A Milestone to Curing Alzheimer’s

Among the diseases most people are afraid of, Alzheimer’s is on the top of the list. This debilitating disease affects many people at old age and can pose difficult situations for the people concerned and their family. Last month scientist at the University of Rostock/ Germany made a spectacular discovery. … Continue reading

Alzheimer’s Protein Amyloid is Strong Predictor of Memory Decline

Research from Australia has revealed that the presence of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein amyloid in the brain is a greater predictor of memory decline than carrying the Alzheimer’s risk gene APOE4. The research is published on 16 October in the journal Neurology. The protein amyloid occurs naturally in the brain, … Continue reading

Alzheimer’s Changes Detected Decades Before Symptoms Show

Scientists in the US have tracked some of the earliest Alzheimer’s changes in a group of people with high risk of a rare early-onset form of the disease. The findings will help scientists to understand what happens in the brain during Alzheimer’s and could aid early detection of disease. The … Continue reading

Timing of Hormone Replacement Therapy May Affect Risk of Alzheimer’s in Women

A study by US researchers has linked hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women to both an increased and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, depending on the type of hormones used and the timing of the therapy. The study, which suggests there could be a ‘critical window’ in which HRT … Continue reading

Flavanol-rich Cocoa May Improve Brain Function in Mild Cognitive Impairment

Researchers in Italy have found consuming flavanol-rich cocoa once a day may help improve brain function in people with mild cognitive impairment. The study is published in the journal Hypertension. The study at the University of L’Aquila followed 90 older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) for eight weeks. MCI … Continue reading

Obesity Linked to Poor Cognitive Health

A study of 6401 Whitehall civil servants has revealed that obesity and metabolic abnormalities, including high blood sugar, abnormal lipid levels and high blood pressure, can increase the risk of cognitive decline. The research, by scientists at the INSERM research institute in Paris and University College London, are published on … Continue reading

Alzheimer’s Decline More Dramatic in ‘Young Old’

Research suggests that despite the risk of Alzheimer’s increasing with age, those in their 60s and 70s show faster rates of decline than people who develop the disease at an older age. The study is published online on 2 August in the journal PLoS ONE. While developing the disease is not … Continue reading

New Phase III Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s Announced

TauRx Therapeutics Ltd has today announced that it will begin two phase III clinical trials using a drug intended to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s. The drug, called LMTX™, aims to prevent the build-up of a protein called tau in the brain and will be tested in people … Continue reading

Mortality Figures Show Dementia Rise

The BBC recently reported on new figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that the number of people dying with Alzheimer’s and dementia has risen by 6% over the last decade. Alzheimer’s and dementia was the second most common cause of death in women in 2011, accounting for over … Continue reading

Targeting Inflammation Has Alzheimer’s Benefits in Mice

Research has shown that antibodies designed to block two proteins involved in inflammation, can reduce features of Alzheimer’s in mice. The study, which uses similar antibodies to ones approved for treatment of psoriasis, is published online on 25 November in the journal Nature Medicine. There is increasing evidence that inflammation … Continue reading

Phase II Trial Begins for Potential Alzheimer’s Drug

A phase II safety trial to investigate a potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s has begun. MSD, known as Merck & Co Inc, will trial a drug called MK-8931 in people with mild to moderate stage Alzheimer’s disease. MK-8931 aims to block an enzyme called BACE, which is known to play … Continue reading

Belfast Scientists Awarded £100,000 for Study to Improve Alzheimer’s Detection

Scientists in Belfast are embarking on a project that could bring a simple blood test for Alzheimer’s disease a step closer, thanks to a £99,754 grant from Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast will use a state-of-the-art-technique to find ways of identifying … Continue reading

Low Childhood Food Intake Linked to Slower Cognitive Decline in African Americans

US researchers have found older African Americans who report going without food as children may have a slower rate of cognitive decline in later life. The study is published in the journal Neurology. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, studied 6,158 people with an average age of 75, … Continue reading

Dementia Scientists Cross the Atlantic in £380,000 US/UK Research Partnership

Two talented dementia scientists will benefit from a total of £380,000 in a US/UK exchange programme aimed at improving the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. The initiative teams the world’s two leading dementia research charities, Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Association (US), for a cross-Atlantic partnership to improve collaboration among … Continue reading

Blood Pressure Drug Shows Alzheimer’s Benefits in Mice

Scientists at Imperial College London have found that the drug prazosin, used to treat high blood pressure, may have potential benefits in Alzheimer’s. The study found that the drug could prevent memory loss in mice showing characteristic features of the disease. The work was funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, Fundació … Continue reading

Study Highlights Scale of Challenge to Reduce Antipsychotics for Dementia

A new study from UK researchers suggests more people with dementia may be receiving antipsychotic prescriptions than previously thought. The study is published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. Antipsychotics can be used for people with dementia to help combat challenging behavioural symptoms such as severe agitation. Moves to reduce their … Continue reading

Brain Imaging Probe Offers Hope for Early Alzheimer’s Detection

Scientists in the US have developed a brain imaging ‘probe’ that may help detect Alzheimer’s in the very earliest stages of the disease. The probe works by binding to a protein called amyloid, a key feature of Alzheimer’s. Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois developed the probe … Continue reading