Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia

A phase 2 clinical trial of the investigational agent idalopirdine (Lu AE5854), a selective 5-HT6 receptor antagonist, as adjunctive treatment to the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil has demonstrated improved cognition in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The results also showed a trend toward ameliorating declines in function and global clinical status, researchers reported at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.
In a series of debates at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, expert physicians debated current and controversial issues in neuroscience. David S. Knopman, MD, FAAN, Professor of Neurology, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, advocated for the benefits of cognitive-enhancing activities; Kaycee M. Sink, MD, MAS, Medical Director, Kulynych Memory Assessment Clinic, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, contended that there is a lack of controlled studies to guide clinical recommendations.
The Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, a specialized program that focuses on the latest treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and state-of-the-art prevention strategies, is helping to reduce the risks associated with the disease. With an emphasis on nutritional approaches, patients at the program receive a personalized plan based on risk factors, genes, medical conditions, and the latest scientific research.

Cognitive enrichment, including intellectual and physical activities, has been shown to delay cognitive impairment; however, its role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease has yielded contradictory results. A team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, conducted a study on the impact of education on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (Vemuri P, et al. Neurology. 2016;86:1128-1135).

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers and cerebral beta-amyloid and amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) measures are equally accurate in the identification of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Significant strides have been made in understanding the factors that influence cognitive decline in older adults. Multiple studies have found that the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may play a role in late-life cognitive impairment, particularly in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, beta-amyloid, which is increased in Alzheimer’s disease, may interact with BDNF and suppress its expression, resulting in impaired cognition.
Philadelphia, PA—Immunization against amyloid-beta and tau protein, starting in the preclinical period, may represent the future in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), said David M. Holtzman, MD, Chairman of Neurology, Washington University, St Louis, MO, during the presidential plenary session at the 2014 American Academy of Neurology meeting.
Philadelphia, PA—A protocol that identifies reversible or modifiable contributory factors to cognitive impairment when used in combination with the aggressive use of approved antidementia medications can improve the cognitive status of patients with dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
An interdisciplinary group of 5 professional organizations, the Dementia Measures Work Group (DWG), recently published a set of quality measures that could improve the care of patients with dementia.
The socioeconomic impact of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia is enormous worldwide and poses considerable challenges in the management and prevention of these debilitating states. An international team from 5 countries has created a new framework for AD and measuring its long-term economic impact on individuals and society.

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