Alzheimer’s Gene Mapping Project Proposed in New York State

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FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A proposed project to map the genes of 1 million people in New York living with or at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease was announced Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

He said the five years of data collected by the Curing Alzheimer’s Health Consortium initiative at the State University of New York would help researchers working to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, the Associated Press reported.

The state will seek proposals for private providers to work with SUNY, other hospitals and non-profit higher education research institutions on the project, Cuomo said.

Two Experimental Drugs Disappoint With Inherited Alzheimer’s

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News Picture: Two Experimental Drugs Disappoint With Inherited Alzheimer's

MONDAY, Feb. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Two experimental drugs do not appear to slow memory loss or mental decline in patients in the early stages of a rare, inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease, according to initial results from a clinical trial.

The international phase 2 and 3 clinical trial separately evaluated the two drugs — solanezumab (Eli Lilly and Co.), and gantenerumab (Roche and its U.S. affiliate, Genentech) — in nearly 200 people with dominantly inherited Alzheimer’s disease, also called autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease.

Gene Variant Ups Dementia Risk in Parkinson’s Patients: Study

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News Picture: Gene Variant Ups Dementia Risk in Parkinson's Patients: Study

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A genetic variant associated with Alzheimer’s disease increases the risk of dementia in people with Parkinson’s disease, researchers say.

The finding could lead to new treatments for dementia in Parkinson’s patients, according to the team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes tremors, stiffness, slow movement and impaired balance.

Eighty percent of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s develop dementia within 20 years. Those who carry a particular variant of the gene APOE have an especially high risk, the study authors said.

Gene Variation May Protect Against Alzheimer’s: Study

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News Picture: Gene Variation May Protect Against Alzheimer's: Study

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A breakthrough study has identified a class of natural gene variants that may protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, researchers at University College London analyzed DNA from more than 10,000 people — half with Alzheimer’s and half without. The investigators found that these gene variants reduce the functioning of proteins called tyrosine phosphatases.

These proteins impair the activity of a cell signaling pathway important for cell survival, explained the authors of the study published online Feb. 5 in the Annals of Human Genetics.

Diets Rich in Fruits, Veggies Could Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer’s

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News Picture: Diets Rich in Fruits, Veggies Could Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer'sBy Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Older adults who regularly consume a group of antioxidants called flavonols may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

The compounds exist in many fruits and vegetables, with the richest sources including green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli, apples and tea.

The researchers found that of over 900 older adults they followed for six years, the one-fifth with the highest flavonol intake were 48% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the one-fifth with the lowest intake.

Gene Test Might Spot Soccer Players at High Risk for Brain Trouble

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News Picture: Gene Test Might Spot Soccer Players at High Risk for Brain TroubleBy Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A gene mutation implicated in the risk for Alzheimer’s disease might also impair memory in soccer players who head the ball a lot, a new study suggests.

The finding could have implications for young athletes in contact sports where the head can take hits during play.

Among soccer players who headed the ball the most, those with the gene mutation called the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE e4) allele did four times worse on memory tests than those who head the ball the least, the researchers found.

Does Size Matter? Volume of Brain Area Not Always Tied to Memory, Thinking

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News Picture: Does Size Matter? Volume of Brain Area Not Always Tied to Memory, Thinking

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — When it comes to parts of your brain, bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Experts long believed that a bigger hippocampus meant better memory. But new research finds that the size of this seahorse-shaped structure deep in the brain doesn’t always predict learning and memory abilities.

Researchers looked at more than 330 older adults in Germany and found that a larger hippocampus is only an advantage in people who also have more white-matter circuitry intact to link the hippocampus to the rest of the brain.

When Dementia Harms Speech, Native Language Matters

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News Picture: When Dementia Harms Speech, Native Language Matters

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Dementia patients may develop distinct speech and reading problems depending on their native language, a new study finds.

The study included 20 English-speaking and 18 Italian-speaking patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a neurodegenerative disorder that affects language areas in the brain. It is often associated with dementia.

The patients had a type of PPA characterized by difficulty producing or pronouncing words (nonfluent PPA).

While both groups of patients had similar levels of degeneration and brain function, English-speakers had more trouble pronouncing words — a traditional sign of nonfluent PPA — and tended to speak less than usual.

Even 1 Night’s Bad Sleep Can Raise Levels of a Brain ‘Marker’ for Alzheimer’s

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News Picture: Even 1 Night's Bad Sleep Can Raise Levels of a Brain 'Marker' for Alzheimer'sBy Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Poor sleep has been linked to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and now a new study suggests a possible reason why.

A small group of young, healthy men deprived of just one night of sleep had higher blood levels of tau protein than when they had a full and uninterrupted night of rest, researchers reported in a study published online Jan. 8 in Neurology.

Study Might Point Alzheimer’s Research in Whole New Direction

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News Picture: Study Might Point Alzheimer's Research in Whole New DirectionBy Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A new brain scanning technique is shaking up what researchers thought they knew about Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers now say they can predict with reasonable accuracy which brain regions will wither and atrophy in Alzheimer’s by identifying the places where tau protein “tangles” have built up.