The fight to find a cure has hit another roadblock this week as pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly announced that they were discontinuing their phase three trials for an experimental drug. People with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease were given lanabecestat at 20mg, 50 mg, or a placebo to assess the drug’s effects. Lanabecestat is an experimental BACE inhibitor that is being called off after the data monitoring committee saw that the drug was unlikely to meet primary endpoints.
Although traditionally thought as the waste disposal units of the cell, exosomes have a much more complex relationship with the processing of information between cells as well. Researchers out of Linköping University have found that exosomes are spreading amyloid proteins to unaffected neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The spread of the disease has alluded researchers, as it was assumed that it was passed through proximity. Absorption of exosomes in unaffected neurons offers the answer to why spread of the disease can be observed in other parts of the brain.
Another reason to watch your blood pressure has been looked at by researchers out of the Regional Excellence Hypertension Center of the Italian Society of Hypertension in the Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine of the I.R.C.C.S, Neuromed. Researchers asked people ages 40 to 65 with no prior symptoms or diagnosis of dementia to screen for their hypertensive status and organ damage. An MRI was utilized to determine the presence of microstructural damage in white matter of participants in relation to hypertensive status.
Research out of the University of Illinois in Chicago examined how genes affected by alcohol and inflammation influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease. These genes are responsible for clearing amyloid beta from the brain, when affected by alcohol the ability to clear amyloid decreases and amyloid forms plaques in the brain contributing to neuronal damage. There has been a lot of research surrounding dementia and the effects of alcohol, however, this study focuses on the direct impact of alcohol on the genes that protect against dementia.
This new innovative technology could help people living with dementia live independently and in their own home longer. The study is known as Technology Integrated Health Management for dementia and uses a network of internet devices such as sensors monitors and trackers. These devices are installed in the homes and can be used to detect immediate crisis, change in people’s health and changes in their daily routine. The devices are used to monitor changes that could indicate potential health issues, aiding in early detection to prevent later hospitalization.