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A crucial, overlooked question on the new Alzheimer’s drug: When should patients stop taking it?

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A crucial, overlooked question on the new Alzheimer’s drug: When should patients stop taking it? STAT News – June 24, 2021 “When we enroll families in studies of treatments like aducanumab, we try to educate them that they should not expect large improvements in cognition or function,” Joshua Grill, director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine, said in an email to STAT. The drug can’t stop disease progression, only potentially slow it, a change that he warns would likely be imperceptible. “If we can’t expect families to know if the drug…

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UCI-led meta-analysis identifies hypertension medications that help ward off memory loss

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

People taking drugs that cross the blood-brain barrier experienced less cognitive decline June 21, 2021 The research conducted by Daniel Nation, UCI associate professor of psychological science, and Jean Ho, a postdoctoral scholar at the UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, included more than 12,800 people over the age of 50 in 14 separate studies carried out across six countries. Steve Zylius / UCI Irvine, Calif., June  21, 2021 — A large-scale meta-analysis led by University of California, Irvine researchers provides the strongest evidence yet of which blood pressure medications help slow memory loss in older adults: those that can…

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Furor rages over FDA approval of controversial Alzheimer’s drug

By Carousel Slider, Commentary, In the News

“My greatest concern is around people with families with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Joshua D. Grill, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the University of California at Irvine. “Few can afford the financial burden in the first place, let alone the additional costs of Aduhelm.” He said the cost of an amyloid PET scan was at least $5,000. “Doctors, families, even we researchers need more guidance,” Grill said. Spinal taps offer a more affordable way of determining amyloid levels, but some patients shy away from them. Related posts: New insights from study of people age 90 and above … How to fight off boredom…

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Alzheimer’s treatment study seeks volunteers, including two sites in Portland

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KATU News: “We all have to do more because this is about the most important medical problem we face as a society today,” said Dr. Josh Grill, a member of the AHEAD Study leadership team and director of the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders. Grill said his AHEAD Study team is testing a new investigational treatment, examining whether they can slow slow or stop the earliest brain changes due to Alzheimer’s disease in people with a higher risk of developing the disease later in life. The team is seeking volunteers on its website: https://www.aheadstudy.org/ “All research…

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The FDA has approved Aduhelm. What now?

By Commentary, Community Events, Event Slider, In the News

Join UCI MIND Director Joshua Grill, PhD & Neurologist Gaby Thai, MD Thursday, June 24 @ 12 PM PT for a discussion on the FDA‘s recent decision on aducanumab, Aduhelm! Bring your Qs Thursday to: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/188018221232375/posts/4358845157482973/  YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLxt0zIG6vY Related posts: MIND Matters | Quarterly Newsletter | Spring 2021 Message from the Director Dear Friends of UCI MIND, Spring has sprung and there is much to look forward to. COVID-19 infections remain low in Orange County. We are grateful to our colleagues from UCI Health who have done an incredible job of caring for people during the pandemic and…

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The problem with post-approval required studies

By Commentary, In the News, Participants

Contributed by Daniel Gillen, PhD Earlier today, the FDA granted approval of Biogen Inc’s aducanumab, to be sold under the brand name Aduhelm, to treat the underlying cause of AD.  As I wrote back in November of 2020, multiple issues in the clinical program for aducanumab make objective assessment of the clinical efficacy of the drug difficult. I was not alone as the FDA advisory committee also noted them. The first obvious issue is that the two parallel Phase 3 trials, called studies 301 and 302, that this approval is based on were discrepant in their results. Generally speaking, FDA…

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The FDA has approved aducanumab (Aduhelm™). Now what?

By Commentary, In the News, Participants

Contributed by Joshua Grill, PhD Today, June 7, the US Food and Drug Administration approved aducanumab, a monoclonal antibody against beta amyloid, the protein that builds up in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. It has been more than 15 years since the last approval of an Alzheimer’s drug. Unlike the previously approved therapies, aducanumab directly targets the biological changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The data that the FDA used to decide to approve aducanumab were controversial, resulting from three clinical trials – one Phase 1B trial and two large Phase 3 trials. The controversy…

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How to fight off boredom in retirement

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MarketWatch As we age, our already limited attention span shrinks even more. So it takes extra discipline for seniors to stay curious. … Craig Stark, [professor of neurobiology and behavior], a memory researcher at University of California, Irvine, urges people who want to stay mentally sharp to “feed your brain novel information.” Curiosity can provide the impetus to gather that new information. Related posts: Cognitive decline distorts political choices, UCI-led study says “Our findings suggest that older individuals experiencing cognitive decline have relatively stable ideological preferences, but these preferences lose their connection to political policy details. Future studies conducted during…

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Protecting the aging beagle brain

By Commentary, In the News

Contributed by Hamsi Radhakrishnan Organ transplant recipients are significantly less likely to develop dementia compared to the general population; perhaps because the drugs they take to suppress their immune system to prevent donor organ rejection could also be curbing neuroinflammation. To assess whether these drugs could be repurposed as dementia-preventing medication in middle-aged adults, we studied the effects one year treatment with the FDA-approved immunosuppressant Tacrolimus had on the beagle brain. Using advanced diffusion MRI, we found that tacrolimus protected against aging-related microstructural changes that are often associated with cognitive decline, specifically in the hippocampus, parahippocampal cortex, prefrontal cortex and…

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