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Commentary

Commentary on anti-inflammatories for Alzheimer’s prevention

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Contributed by Andrea J. Tenner, PhD Researchers at McGill University recently published results from a clinical trial of the common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), naproxen, showing that it was ineffective at preventing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in cognitively unimpaired people with a family history. I am not surprised by this result, as naproxen is a nonselective inhibitor of inflammatory mediators.  Dr. Breitner, the lead investigator on the manuscript, is an excellent physician scientist.  The study authors indicated that the results do not rule out a benefit from mid-life anti-inflammatory drugs, and that the study turned out to have too few participants…

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Dr. Kim Green Comments on ‘Missing Microglia’ for The Atlantic

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The Atlantic – April 11, 2019.  Kim Green, a neurobiologist at UC Irvine, notes mutant mice lacking microglia have broadly similar patterns of disorganization in their brains. These mice models essentially predicted what would happen in the human. He had just never expected to see a person without microglia. “It’s absolutely remarkable,” he says.

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Big IDEAS May Improve Clinical Management of Dementia

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Contributed by S. Ahmad Sajjadi, MD, PhD, Neurologist Last week, the results of a very important and highly anticipated study, the IDEAS (Imaging Dementia – Evidence For Amyloid Scanning) study, were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This national multi-center study, including UC Irvine, enrolled more than 11,000 Medicare beneficiaries with cognitive impairment to undergo a special type of scan called amyloid positron emission tomography (PET). Amyloid PET scan provides the opportunity to visualize the accumulation of abnormal amyloid plaques on the brain. Amyloid and tau proteins are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study…

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Dr. Joshua Grill Discusses ‘Pseudomedicine’ with AARP

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AARP – April 10, 2019. “A common situation is an older adult becoming concerned about their memory and taking a supplement to try to ward off dementia,” says Joshua Grill, director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine. “But in reality, if they saw their doctor, they might find out that another medical condition such as hypothyroidism, or a certain prescription medication, is causing symptoms and can be easily treated. They’re just making things worse.” And if you do have dementia, he adds, you could start a drug treatment to relieve symptoms,…

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Today is World Down Syndrome Day!

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Did you know that people with Down syndrome are at significantly increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s disease? UCI MIND researchers, like Ira Lott, MD, Eric Doran, MS, Elizabeth Head, PhD, and Jorge Busciglio, PhD aim to better understand this critical link to improve quality of life and bring us closer to improved treatments and prevention for all people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about the UCI MIND Down Syndrome Program, click here > To read a recent interview with Down Syndrome Program manager, Eric Doran, click here >. In this post, Eric discusses the creation of a new…

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Phase 3 Trials of Aducanumab Halted

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Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND The global research effort to find effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease has suffered another disappointing setback. Biogen announced today that the company will halt the parallel large Phase 3 trials of the monoclonal antibody against the amyloid beta protein, aducanumab. This treatment was viewed by many to hold tremendous promise. Early results were unprecedented. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were treated with aducanumab showed significant reduction in amyloid burden in the brain, which appeared to slow disease progression. The results were based on a small number of participants, however, and were not…

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Participants are needed for a new Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial at UC Irvine and UCLA.

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People ages 50 and older who have memory problems are needed for a new clinical trial for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease at the University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Irvine. The NEAT study is a clinical trial sponsored by the University of California “Cures for Alzheimer’s Initiative,” testing whether nicotinamide, a component of vitamin B3, can slow Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the 12-month study is investigating if a high daily dose of nicotinamide can affect the brain tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The study also measures whether nicotinamide is effective in improving memory and other thinking…

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