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Commentary

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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Forgetful Yet Unforgettable: The Legacy of an Alzheimer’s Patient

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In an interview with UCI undergraduate students, Chelsea Cox, Associate Director of Eduction for UCI MIND, shares her personal journey with Alzheimer’s disease, her perspective on care and research, and how people – young and old – can get involved in the cause. “…No one should have to spend their final days that way. This experience is what motivated me to get involved in Alzheimer’s research and education. So that hopefully, one day, other people don’t have to go through what my family went through.” Read the full interview on Medium >

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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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