Hi! So I made a post like this last summer and I hate doing this again but me and my family are participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the second year in a row. We just recently lost my Nana to Alzheimer’s a year ago and it’s still been really hard. 

Alzheimers disease can effect you and your entire family from literally out of nowhere, I feel like one day my Nana was fine and the next she barely knew who I was or where she was. It doesn’t just effect the memory of the person diagnosed, but it turns them into a whole different person. I don’t even know how to explain it, everything you know and love about a person basically just disappears and there is nothing you can do to help them. There is no cure and no real working treatments that help slow the process down. 

I know it’s a lot of me to ask you to donate because I know you guys have your own things to pay for and what not but you never know if one of your loved ones could be diagnosed with this awful disease, but even if you just reblog this post it would mean so much, I never know who it could reach. I love yall so so much thank you for even just reading this.

And if anyone else has lost someone to Alzheimers or is going through the really hard time of caring for someone with it, I am always here to talk to if you need because I know exactly what you are going through.

New Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes Discovered

Full article .

Researchers have uncovered a unique connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, providing further evidence that a disease that robs people of their memories may be affected by elevated blood sugar, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The research is in Journal of Clinical Investigation. (full open access)

Research: “Hyperglycemia modulates extracellular amyloid-β concentrations and neuronal activity in vivo” by Shannon L. Macauley, Molly Stanley, Emily E. Caesar, Steven A. Yamada, Marcus E. Raichle, Ronaldo Perez, Thomas E. Mahan, Courtney L. Sutphen, and David M. Holtzman in Journal of Clinical Investigation doi:10.1172/JCI79742

Image: The researchers showed that spikes in blood glucose increased the activity of neurons in the brain, which promoted production of amyloid beta. This image is for illustrative purposes only.

No Exit: Dementia Village Dwellers Live in Alternate Reality - It sounds like the dystopian plot of Dark City or The Truman Show, with free-seeming residents unaware they are actually inhabitants of a closed community they cannot leave and  in which they are under constant surveillance … but that is only one side of the story. A total of 150 Alzheimer’s sufferers live in Hogewey, this gated community unlike any other. Located in the Netherlands, it boasts open copious walking paths and green spaces, a grocery shop, hair salon and dozens of stores and clubs.

The friendly grocers and stylists are, however, all employees of the facility (caregivers, doctors and nurses). If someone approaches the single exit to the outside world they are politely, gently but firmly told to perhaps try another door as this one is closed. If this sounds like a terrible situation, consider this: patients can roam much more freely than in many elder car facilities. Patients here require fewer medications, eat better and live longer. Still, it raises philosophical questions that are difficult to answer about the relative value of knowledge and happiness, for instance. Dormitory-style rooms are situated around the exterior of the campus, allowing views out, but building exits all face inward. Each residence structure has a “lifestyle theme” associated with it, designed to make people feel it home, surrounded by appropriate religious symbols for some, music and art for others.

Could Green Tea Extract and Exercise Hinder Alzheimer’s Progression?

Full article at http://neurosciencenews.com/alzheimers-green-tea-exercise-2023/.

Comprehensive study of EGCG, a compound found in green tea, could lead to treatments of Alzheimer’s in humans.

The research is in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. (full access paywall)

Research: “Beneficial Effects of Dietary EGCG and Voluntary Exercise on Behavior in an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model” by Walker. Jennifer M., Klakotskaia. Diana, Ajit. Deepa, Weisman. Gary A., Wood. W. Gibson, Sun. Grace Y., Serfozo. Peter, Simonyi. Agnes, and Schachtman. Todd R.r in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Published online May 2015 doi:10.3233/JAD-140981

Image: Increases in inflammation have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease patients and recent studies have suggested the benefits of dietary antioxidants in reducing the risk of AD. The image is for illustrative purposes only.

Deconstructing Brain Systems Involved in Memory and Spatial Skills

In work that reconciles two competing views of brain structures involved in memory and spatial perception, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have conducted experiments that suggest the hippocampus – a small region in the brain’s limbic system –  is dedicated largely to memory formation and not to spatial skills, such as navigation. The study is published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The role of the hippocampus in spatial cognition versus memory formation is a major debating point in our understanding of how the human brain processes its exterior environment,” said senior author Larry Squire, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology. “This study shows that the hippocampus is primarily associated with memory. It’s an adjudication on two perspectives that span more than 60 years of research.”

In one of these perspectives, developed in the 1950s, the hippocampus is viewed as being the critical structure enabling the formation of declarative, long-term memories, such as the ability to remember one’s high-school prom. That view shifted in the 1970s when experiments conducted largely with rats showed that the hippocampus plays a major role in spatial skills, such as those needed to navigate through a maze. The experiments led some researchers to speculate that the human hippocampus might also be active in spatial cognition and mapmaking skills.

“We have not found evidence that this is the case,” said Squire, who is also a research career scientist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. “Patients with hippocampal lesions can perform spatial tasks as long as these tasks don’t depend on long-term memory. We think they can do these spatial tasks because these tasks can be managed within short-term memory functions, supported by the frontal lobe of the neocortex. The discrepancy we see with rats may reflect the fact that rodents don’t have a well-developed frontal cortex or the associated short-term memory processing skills. The spatial tasks that we can do with our neocortex using short-term memory must be performed by the hippocampus in rats.”

The results are based on experiments with six adults with hippocampal lesions, one adult with damage to the medial temporal lobe, which includes the hippocampus, and 12 control subjects. For the experiments, participants were asked to study a simple scene, such as a pair of boots, and to draw the scene from memory. The drawings were scored for detail and accuracy on a 1-5 scale. Participants were also evaluated for a normal tendency, known as boundary extension, in which people tend to recall an image as having a larger background and smaller foreground than is present in reality. In the boot example, this means people tend to draw the boots smaller than they were in the original photograph. The background consequently takes up a larger fraction of the image, hence the term boundary extension.

In a second set of experiments, participants were asked to look at a scene, such as a slide in a park, and describe what might come into view if the image were enlarged. The participants’ narratives were scored for details, spatial references, thoughts and emotions.

All participants with hippocampal damage demonstrated an impaired ability to accurately recall details about the boots. Their average score was 2, compared with 3 for the control group. However, the patients displayed normal boundary extension. Both patients and control subjects shrunk the size of the boots relative to the background by about 60 percent. Both groups were also equally skilled in imagining and constructing detailed narratives about what might come into view if the scenes were expanded.

“The value of this type of research is that we are building an understanding of how the brain works,” Squire said. “We know Alzheimer’s disease usually begins in the medial temporal lobe and this study reminds us that it’s not the patients’ spatial skills that are immediately at risk, it is their memory. This is consistent with clinical experiences. Patients don’t complain about loss of spatial skills, they complain about memory loss.”

Pictured: (Left to right) Image shown to study participants; image drawn by memory by a control subject; and image drawn by patient with hippocampal damage. Image courtesy of PNAS

New Alzheimer’s test detects disease 10 years before diagnosis

A new blood test for Alzheimer’s can detect the onset of the disease up to 10 years before symptoms start to appear, and claims to have a rate of 100 percent accuracy.

Researchers in the US have developed a new Alzheimer’s blood test that could pick up on the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease with 100 percent accuracy when tested on 174 individuals. 

Announced at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington last weekend, the test allows for Alzheimer’s treatment to begin much faster than ever before.

While other Alzheimer’s blood tests were announced just months ago - including one that claims 90 percent accuracy by identifying 10 specific proteins found in affected brain tissue - this new test is more efficient, as it only needs to examine a single protein. The protein, called IRS-1, plays a key role in insulin signalling in the brain, and the reseachers think it’s defective in all Alzheimer’s patients.

To test this, the team, led by neuroscientist Dimitrios Kapogiannis from the US National Institute on Ageing, recruited 70 volunteers with diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease, 20 elderly volunteers who were mentally fine but had diabetes, and 84 healthy adults. They collected blood samples from everybody, and analysed these with samples that had been previous taken from 22 of the Alzheimer’s patients up to 10 years prior to them being diagnosed. 

According to told Sarah Knapton at The Telegraph, they found that the volunteers with Alzheimer’s had much higher levels of inactive IRS-1 proteins in their blood samples, which also showed up clearly in the samples taken prior to their diagnoses. “These levels were so consistent that the team could predict whether a blood sample came from an Alzheimer’s patient, healthy individual, or a diabetic - with no errors,” says Knapton.

“We were able to perfectly classify patients and controls,” Kapogiannis said at the conference.

The team is now working on expanding their study to evaluate the blood test in a much larger pool of volunteers over a longer period of time. “We will need replication and validation, but I’m very optimistic this work will hold,” Kapogiannis said.

Source: The Telegraph

Beloved fantasy author Terry Pratchett has passed away aged 66, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

The author is best known for his world-famous Discworld series, as well as numerous other science fiction, fantasy, and children’s books. Among his many collaborations is the cult fantasy novel Good Omens, which was cowritten with Neil Gaiman. Over the past 30 years, Pratchett became an icon in the fantasy fiction community, respected both for his humor as a satirist and for the rich creativity of the Discworld books.

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In ’Still Alice’ Julianne Moore plays a professor who finds out after a series of memory lapses that she has Alzheimer’s. Our film critic David Edelstein says:

Still Alice is a triumph for Moore, but the rest is a little thin. It’s based on Harvard-trained neuroscientist Lisa Genova’s novel, which reads like an ultra-empathetic clinician’s report. Told from Alice’s point of view, the book charts her day-by-day decline, each chapter bringing a fresh assault on her autonomy and dignity. But Genova doesn’t have the poetic gifts to evoke the fragmentation of Alice’s psyche, and the people around her—among them her husband, a cancer researcher—are half-formed.

‘Still Alice’ Is A Triumph For Julianne Moore, But The Rest Of Film Is Thin

Alzheimer Amyloid Clumps Found in Young Adult Brains

Amyloid – an abnormal protein whose accumulation in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease – starts accumulating inside neurons of people as young as 20, a much younger age than scientists ever imagined, reports a surprising new Northwestern Medicine study.

Scientists believe this is the first time amyloid accumulation has been shown in such young human brains. It’s long been known that amyloid accumulates and forms clumps of plaque outside neurons in aging adults and in Alzheimer’s.  

“Discovering that amyloid begins to accumulate so early in life is unprecedented,” said lead investigator Changiz Geula, PhD, research professor in the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “This is very significant. We know that amyloid, when present for long periods of time, is bad for you.”

The study was published March 2 in the journal Brain.

Read more >>

This work was supported in part by a Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, and by grants from the National Institute on Aging (AG014706, AG027141, AG20506 T32) of the National Institutes of Health. 

AN: My new years resolution was to get back into the swing of things with these. I’ve obviously failed. 

He liked to sit by the big windows in the mansion’s dining room. It offered a wonderful view of the huge, sloping garden outside, and was the best sunning spot. On particularly nice days, when the sky was blue and the clouds non-existence, he could almost picture himself souring through the sky like a bird. 

His mind wasn’t what it used to be. That’s what they told him, anyway. He used to be important, apparently, with a high profile job and a big family. He couldn’t remember any of it, though; hell, he couldn’t remember what he had for breakfast most mornings. 

“Tony?” came a quiet, deep voice from the door, breaking the peaceful silence that had fallen across the room. 

Tony looked up from his wheelchair and immediately caught sight of a handsome young man stood in the doorway. He was tall - maybe 6'2 or 6'3 - with sunshine blond hair that was only just starting to grey at the temples. His smile, tentative but surely blinding at its widest, reminded him of someone he swore he used to know. 

“It’s me, Steve,” the man told him, moving across the room to crouch down beside his chair. “Do you remember me?”

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