New Avenues for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

This New York Times article provides a good synopsis on new research efforts to find a method for curing Alzheimer’s, or at least radically slowing down the disease progression. The new research avenues fall into into two main categories: 1. Slow beta amyloid clearance in older brains. The historical research focus on overproduction of amyloid… Read More »

National Alzheimer’s Telethon is a First

Last night NBC aired the first Together for Care telethon for Alzheimer’s Disease. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) conceived and launched this effort, which helps raise awareness of Alzheimer’s at a national level. Celebrity appearances and performances by Ellen DeGeneres, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Judd, Mario Lopez, Kirk Morrison, Donald Trump, Kris Allen, Brett Eldridge,… Read More »

Taking Steps Now to Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

A common theme I heard at the Society for Neuroscience conference last week was the easy availability of preventive steps that can be taken now to reduce the rate of new Alzheimer’s cases. Two of these preventive steps that have strong research evidence are lifestyle choices: 1. Moderate aerobic exercise (30 minutes) a few times… Read More »

Rep. Patrick Kennedy Speaks at SfN Conference on Brain Health & TBI

The Society for Neuroscience is conveniently holding its annual conference here in my hometown of San Diego this week. Earlier this afternoon, US Representative Patrick Kennedy gave a very honest and personal speech on how brain illnesses have affected his family, including his father’s (Senator Ted Kennedy) death from brain cancer, his own struggles with… Read More »

Test Standards for Cognitive Screening in Health Care

(Author note: This article discusses cognitive screening for memory complaints and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that can lead to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.) A final thought on the National Academy of Neuropsychology conference last month: health care reform and Medicare fee reductions are fundamentally changing the way cognitive testing and assessments will be… Read More »

The Early Diagnosis Problem with Alzheimer’s

Douglas Watt from Harvard Medical School provided a useful update on Alzheimer’s research at the National Academy of Neuropsychology conference earlier this month. His key points: 1. Late diagnosis of memory loss and cognitive impairment contribute to underestimation of the problem – the current estimate of 5.5 million with Alzheimer’s in the US alone is… Read More »

Brain Injury Rehabilitation Protocols

Interesting update on TBI rehabilitation methods at the National Academy of Neuropsychology conference last week. The recovery period for even a “mild” traumatic brain injury can last for several months, and more severe injuries usually require a much longer period. TBI symptoms can many times include emotional regulation problems (commonly part of PTSD), along with… Read More »

Defining Mild Cognitive Impairment

At the annual National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) conference in Vancouver this week, Mark Bondi from UCSD & VA San Diego provided a very informative update on defining and diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Why all the attention on MCI? Because MCI can be a portal to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The conversion… Read More »