Alzheimers and Dementia

New Generation of Therapeutics Based on Understanding of Aging Biology Show Promise for Alzheimer’s Disease

 A scientific strategy that explores therapeutic targets based on the biology of aging is gaining ground as an effective approach to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease, accordingdd to research published in the December 7, 2018 online issue of Neurology®. A comprehensive review of the clinical trial landscape, including current agents being studied for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (and other dementias), points to the need to develop and test
Alzheimers and Dementia

Johns Hopkins Team Identifies Promising Diagnostic Tool For Alzheimer’s Disease

 Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have identified in live human brains new radioactive “tracer” molecules that bind to and “light up” tau tangles, a protein associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Two studies will be published back-to-back in the December issue of Journal of Nuclear Medicine—one as featured article of the month—describing testing of three candidate molecules in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as
Alzheimers and Dementia

DNA Vaccine Reduces Both Toxic Proteins Linked to Alzheimer’s

A DNA vaccine tested in mice reduces accumulation of both types of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to research that scientists say may pave the way to a clinical trial. A new study by UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute shows that a vaccine delivered to the skin prompts an immune response that reduces buildup of harmful tau and beta-amyloid – without triggering severe brain swelling that earlier antibody
Biotechnology

New Penn Medicine Center Brings Immunotherapy Research to Brain Tumor Treatment

Today, Penn Medicine is announcing the newest Translational Center of Excellence (TCE) in the Abramson Cancer Center, focused on Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer. The team will investigate new immune therapies for glioblastoma and, in particular, design and test new CAR T cell therapies. This involves engineering patients’ T cells (the cells that act on behalf of the immune system) to attack tumor cells.
cancer Cancer Discovery Cancer screening

New radiotherapy treatment for brain cancer offers superior preservation of cognitive function, Mayo researchers say

 When it comes to radiation therapy to treat brain cancer, hippocampal-avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy in conjunction with the drug memantine better preserved patients’ cognitive function and demonstrated similar cancer control outcomes, compared to traditional whole-brain radiotherapy with memantine. These findings were presented on Tuesday, Oct. 23, by Mayo Clinic researchers at the 2018 annual meetingof the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Antonio. “The hippocampus is a part of the brain associated with the
Parkinson's

Deep Brain Stimulation First Therapy to Slow the Progression of Parkinson’s Disease

Peter Konrad, MD, presents exciting findings that show Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in early stage Parkinson’s Disease may slow tremor progress at the Congress of Neurological Surgeon’s (CNS) 2018 Annual Meeting, on Wednesday, October 10, in the General Scientific Session. “DBS is the first therapy to show disease modifying effect—it can actually slow down cardinal features of Parkinson’s. There has been no therapy, drug or device
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology Neuroscience Parkinson's

Researchers Evaluate Controversial Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis

 In the wake of media and public reports about increased mortality linked to a new drug for treating Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) — a symptom of the progressive nervous system disorder in which patients experience hallucinations and delusions — researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conducted a retrospective study of qualifying patients in the UC San Diego Health system, concluding that the new drug, pimavanserin (marketed
Biotechnology

Robot Helps with Early Screening for Alzheimer’s Patients

September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and a new project in collaboration with UP Health System Portage investigates how technology can assist doctors in earlier diagnosis of the neurodegenerative disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as many as five million Americans had the disease in 2013. They estimate that by 2050, nearly 14 million will have it. Age
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology Neuroscience Parkinson's

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation May Help Treat Symptoms of Rare Movement Disorders

Electrical stimulation of the brain and spinal cord may help treat the symptoms of rare movement disorders called neurodegenerative ataxias, according to a study published in the August 22, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. There are several types of these disorders, which can be hereditary or occur randomly, including spinocerebellar ataxia, multiple system atrophy and Friedreich’s ataxia. Symptoms of ataxias include a lack
Neurology Neuroscience

Cleveland Clinic Researchers Discover Novel Subtype of Multiple Sclerosis

New findings published in The Lancet Neurology  Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered a new subtype of multiple sclerosis (MS), providing a better understanding of the individualized nature of the disease. MS has long been characterized as a disease of the brain’s white matter, where immune cells destroy myelin – the fatty protective covering on nerve cells. The destruction of myelin (called demyelination) was believed to be responsible for nerve cell (neuron)
Alzheimers and Dementia

Study Predicts Most People with Earliest Alzheimer’s Signs Won’t Develop Dementia Associated with the Disease

 During the past decade, researchers have identified new ways to detect the earliest biological signs of Alzheimer’s disease. These early signs, which are detected by biomarkers, may be present before a person starts to exhibit physical symptoms. What biomarker screening doesn’t reveal, however, is how likely it is that a person who tests positive will eventually develop the dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s where the new predictions from researchers
Alzheimers and Dementia

Researchers Identify Gene That Helps Prevent Brain Disease

Scientists know that faulty proteins can cause harmful deposits or “aggregates” in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Although the causes of these protein deposits remain a mystery, it is known that abnormal aggregates can result when cells fail to transmit proper genetic information to proteins. University of California San Diego Professor Susan Ackerman and her colleagues first highlighted this cause of brain disease more than 10 years
Neurology

Defect in Debilitating Neurodegenerative Disease Reversed in Mouse Nerves

Scientists have developed a new drug compound that shows promise as a future treatment for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited, often painful neurodegenerative condition that affects nerves in the hands, arms, feet and legs. The researchers used the compound to treat the nerves of mice harboring the genetic defects that cause the disease. The new study, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, challenges some conventional wisdom regarding how
Neurodegenerative diseases Neurology

Preliminary Study Suggests Drug May Help Babies with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

A preliminary study suggests that an investigational drug may help increase protein levels in babies with spinal muscular atrophy. The open-label study is released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, April 21 to 27, 2018. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited disease that leads to loss of motor function. It is the leading genetic cause of death in
Alzheimers and Dementia

Study: Brain Injury May Boost Risk of Alzheimer’s Earlier in Life

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease earlier in life, according to a study from UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. The research – the first to use autopsy-confirmed cases of Alzheimer’s disease to examine the long-term effects of head injuries – supports a correlation that could only be speculated about in previous studies, which lacked definitive diagnostic methods. An analysis of more than
Autism

Cognitive Enhancement Therapy Improves Outcomes for Adults with Autism

New collaborative research out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and the Department of Psychiatry signals a potential breakthrough for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While there have been advances in early detection and many studies involving the treatment of children with ASD, few efforts to date have focused on interventions for adults. These individuals experience significant challenges throughout adulthood, including unemployment, social impairment and poor
cancer

Enzyme Inhibitor Combined with Chemotherapy Delays Glioblastoma Growth

 In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide. The regression seen in this combination therapy of temozolomide and the inhibitor SLC-0111 — which targets the enzyme carbonic anhydrase 9, or CA9 — was greater than that seen with either SLC-0111 or temozolomide alone, says research leader Anita Hjelmeland, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department
Alzheimers and Dementia

Experimental Drug Blocks Toxic Ion Flow Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

An international team of researchers has shown that a new small-molecule drug can restore brain function and memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug works by stopping toxic ion flow in the brain that is known to trigger nerve cell death. Scientists envision that this drug could be used to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and ALS. “This is the first drug molecule
Neurology Neuroscience

Potential New Autism Drug Shows Promise in Mice

Scientists have performed a successful test of a possible new drug in a mouse model of an autism disorder. The candidate drug, called NitroSynapsin, largely corrected electrical, behavioral and brain abnormalities in the mice. NitroSynapsin is intended to restore an electrical signaling imbalance in the brain found in virtually all forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). “This drug candidate is poised to go into clinical trials, and we think it
cancer

Proton Therapy Lowers Treatment Side Effects in Pediatric Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Pediatric patients with head and neck cancer can be treated with proton beam therapy (PBT) instead of traditional photon radiation, and it will result in similar outcomes with less impact on quality of life. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as well as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia analyzed cases of pediatric head and neck cancer treated with PBT between 2010 and 2016 and found similar rates of tumor