A weekly recap of the latest news about Alzheimer’s and dementia
By Staff Blogger/ June, 2019
Alzheimer’s Orange County compiles a weekly roundup of the latest news stories and developments about Alzheimer’s and dementia to keep you updated on what’s happening locally and all around the world. Check out this week’s headlines below:
While Alzheimer’s disease does not yet have a cure, researchers at the University of New Mexico have reported promising findings that point towards a possible preventative vaccine. Many speculate that the tau protein is the culprit in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. When saturated tau proteins collect together, they form neurofibrillary tangles that are a key marker of Alzheimer’s.
Now, researchers report the development of a vaccine that eliminates tau tangles in mice. The article states how this research, coupled with Pfizer’s uncovered developments about their existing Enbrel drug from last week (although discontinued), suggests that a cure for Alzheimer’s might not be as far off as we may think. Read more here.
In this article, Medical News Today reports a new way discovered by researchers at Columbia University to deliver drugs to the brain. By using focused ultrasound, or FUS, scientists can administer drugs across the blood-brain barrier of the brain as well as pinpoint the specific location in the brain for the drugs to reach. This could be crucial in developing drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
This is an exciting turning point for neuroscience research. Columbia University professor Elisa Konofagou comments, “We were able to curb the rapid progression of neurodegeneration while improving the neuronal function. We expect our study will open new therapeutic avenues for the early treatment of central nervous system diseases.” Read more here.
This newly launched television series titled “The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes” follows 14 people who have been diagnosed with dementia, almost all of which have faced cataclysmic life changes, like losing their homes or their jobs, as a result of their diagnosis. The show documents how these individuals learn to work in the restaurant industry despite their diagnosis, and makes a strong statement about how we as a society need to continue to work to break down stigmas about dementia and to make our communities a more welcoming and inclusive place for all those affected.
A short trailer of the show below:
In the video below, Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton and two of the show’s volunteers speak out on a talk show about the effects of dementia on everyday life and the impact of the show:
The show’s participants share that because of their diagnosis, society often treats them as expendable, written off and forgotten. With their new occupations, they are able to feel more valued and self-sufficient. The show breaks down common misconceptions about dementia and shows that people living with memory loss are able to still make a valuable contribution to society and live meaningful lives. Read more here.