Solanezumab and the amyloid hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease

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Solanezumab’s failure is a wake-up call to look elsewhere for an answer to dementia

Is the amyloid cascade hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease too big to fail? It proposes that brain deposition of β amyloid protein is the critical early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and has been the centrepiece of dementia research for decades. The hypothesis suggests that removing β amyloid will reverse or prevent the clinical expression of dementia. However, in all phase III clinical trials to date, treatments targeting β amyloid have failed to improve cognitive outcomes despite reducing brain β amyloid.

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Initial drug treatment in Parkinson’s disease

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and a wide spectrum of non-motor symptoms including sleep disorders, hyposmia, bladder and bowel dysfunction, fatigue, dementia, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Although the disease has no cure, available treatments effectively control motor symptoms and improve quality of life. Several drug classes are licensed for use as monotherapy in early Parkinson’s disease and adjuvant therapy in later disease

Is this a new era for dementia?

A blog article  by Professors Alistair Burns and Martin Rossor:

“The current national and international focus on dementia has been widely welcomed as a vehicle to raise the profile of, and attract attention to, what has been a hitherto relatively neglected area of scientific interest and clinical practice…

…The news a few weeks ago of the putative efficacy of a disease modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has ignited widespread public, professional and political interest and enthusiasm…”

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Being underweight in middle age is associated with raised dementia risk, large study finds

People who are underweight in middle age are at increased risk of developing dementia, while increasing weight and obesity offer protection against the condition, a large cohort study has found.

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A number of previous studies have looked at the association between weight and dementia, and most have found that the risk of dementia increased among adults who are overweight or obese, although some studies have found the opposite. Most of these studies have been small, which led the present researchers to conduct a much larger analysis of the link.

Brain training, exercise, and healthy eating slow cognitive decline in elderly people at risk, study finds

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A comprehensive programme incorporating individual support for healthy eating, regular exercise, and brain training, plus managing metabolic and vascular risk factors reduced cognitive decline in older people at risk for dementia, results reported in the Lancet show

Leading change in diagnosis and support for people living with dementia

DementiaAccording to The King’s Fund, there are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the United Kingdom – a figure set to double over the next two decades – plus an estimated 500,000 carers for people with dementia.

On 24 February, The King’s Fund and the Alzheimer’s Society are hosting a one-day conference to celebrate recent progress in support for people and families living with dementia.