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Commentary

FDA issues warning to dietary supplements making unproven claims

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On February 11, the FDA issued a statement and 12 warning letters related to an aggressive change in the agency’s regulation of dietary supplements. The statement was outlined in the New York Times. The main objective of the new approach is enhanced protection of consumers from mislabeled and unproven claims about treatment of disease. At the core of the problem are a number of companies that specifically target people with Alzheimer’s disease and people who are concerned about developing Alzheimer’s disease. A list of the companies receiving warning letters, as well as links to the letters, can be found here.

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The Rise of Pseudomedicine for Dementia and Brain Health

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Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND Colleagues at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center published a timely critique in JAMA on a concerning and increasing practice in the United States. “Pseudomedicine” is a practice whereby qualified healthcare professionals prescribe supplements or other therapies that are not covered by insurance, and therefore require cash payments, for personal financial gain. Pseudomedicine is especially problematic among older patients and family members concerned about memory loss and desperate for effective therapies to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Other examples of pseudomedicine include recommendations for brain healthy diet plans…

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Washington Post article highlights need for Latino representation in Alzheimer’s clinical studies (Written in English & Spanish)

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Washington Post article highlights need for Latino representation in Alzheimer’s clinical studies Contributed by Christian Salazar, PhD, UCI MIND Associate Project Scientist A rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, caused by a gene mutation first discovered among people living in Jalisco, Mexico, develops at much earlier age than typical cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Andres Martin, a 31-year old Marine, has this ‘Jalisco mutation’, and is committed to raising awareness that the fight against Alzheimer’s disease does not only impact older adults. He’s especially motivated to protect those like his daughter, Alexis, a 2-year old who has a 50% chance of inheriting…

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Critical need for diversity in Alzheimer’s disease research

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Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD, Director of UCI MIND In a new study, colleagues at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University have found that levels of the cerebrospinal fluid protein tau, one of the hallmark pathologies in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is lower in African Americans compared to Whites. This was true both for older participants who did and did not have memory problems. The study is not the first to find such differences between African Americans and Caucasians and it has important implications to a number of important areas of AD research. First, there is a growing movement…

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Dr. Joshua Grill discusses A4 Study results in Alzforum

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This week Alzforum posted coverage from the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, including UCI MIND Director Dr. Joshua Grill’s presentation of data from The A4 Study (Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease Study). In The A4 Study, a secondary prevention trial of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, people with elevated amyloid had higher levels of memory complaints than those without elevated amyloid. To read the full article, click here > 

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The impact on everybody else, it’s enormous

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Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD This week’s 60 Minutes did an excellent job of illustrating, in 13 minutes, the 10-year progression of Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on patients and their caregivers. In addition to the unrelenting progression of the disease, the piece showed viewers the toll the disease takes on care providers, including the physical, financial, and emotional burdens. On average, the cost of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to exceed $300,000 total. And caregivers are at increased risk for physical and mental ailments, resulting from the stress of their role and the fact that…

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New York Times article breaks down barriers to recruitment and brings hope with a new trial

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The New York Times recently covered a new clinical trial effort Eli Lilly is undertaking, the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ clinical research study. The study, which UCI MIND investigators are participating in, aims to enroll 375 people with early Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about the TRAILBLAZER-ALZ study, click here, or contact us at research@mind.uci.edu or call 949.824.0008.

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