At the National Institutes of Health’s Summit a collaboration of professional, government, and academic organizations came together to inform recommendations for the pursuit of Alzheimer’s disease therapy. The recommendations goal is to guide a multidisciplinary approach to research to allow different fields to coordinate efforts and skills sets in order to accelerate and mobilize research. A key theme is to address the underlying processes of the disease through the therapy and to address symptoms. Dr.
Researchers at the University of Utah Health are investigating the salience network of the brain to develop music-based treatments of anxiety for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. Typically in Alzheimer’s disease this particular area of the brain is not affected. Previous research has shown that personalized music playlists have been beneficial for improving the mood of individuals living with dementia, reducing anxiety, depression and agitation. For three weeks, researchers chose meaningful songs for each participant to listen to while their brains were imaged.
After another early drug trial has failed, Dr. Donald Weaver from Toronto’s Krembil Research Institute, is feeling rather frustrated. This compound was being tested to prevent the clumping of tau which creates he distinctive tangles that develop in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. With so many drug trails failing many researchers are second guessing the leading theory behind the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Among many, the accepted cause of Alzheimer’s disease is the amyloid hypothesis which states improper folding of the amyloid protein creates plaques within the brain.
Exercise has long been shown to keep people healthy and often advised to promote mental health. However, in certain circumstances, this may not be correct and exercise may actually be harmful. Researchers from Oxford University sought to find if an exercise program would be beneficial to people with mild dementia. 494 people living with dementia were placed into two groups, those who received normal care and those who also participated in an exercise program twice a week and prescribed a home workout once a week.
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science have found a mutation in mice that has the potential to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that this mutation can reduce the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides. These amyloid-beta plaques are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease, created from the leftover part of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). They successfully recreated the APP gene mutation in mouse models for the purpose of the study. Previous research has shown that the deletion of the APP gene may reduce amyloid-beta plaques.