alzheimer

New Small Molecule to Treat Alzheimer's Disease and Dravet Syndrome

New study shows potentiating a subset of NMDA receptors may be beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease and Dravet syndrome.
Press Release – updated: Jan 14, 2020 12:57 PST

SAN FRANCISCO, January 14, 2020 (Newswire.com) – Gladstone researchers, in collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche group, have shown therapeutic efficacy of a new experimental drug in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and a rare genetic form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. The small molecule increases the activity of a subset of neurotransmitter (NMDA) receptors that are found at synapses, the connection points between neurons. These receptors are known to support cognition and memory by enhancing communication between neurons. The new research shows that enhancing the activity of synaptic NMDA receptors helps restore the brain’s rhythms to normal patterns, and improves memory.
“Before now, we haven’t had ideal tools to enhance synaptic NMDA receptors,” said Gladstone Associate Investigator Jorge Palop, Ph.D., senior author of the study, which was published in the journal Cell Reports. “Now, the ability to specifically target these receptors opens up a lot of new possibilities for treating cognitive disorders.”
“This is the first time we’ve explored what this type of experimental drug does in animal models,” said Jesse Hanson, a scientist at Genentech and lead author of the new paper. “It was very gratifying to see an effect on both the brain’s electrical activity and the animals’ behavior.”
Abnormal activity of NMDA receptors has been long implicated in neuropsychiatric, epileptic, and neurodegenerative disorders. But previous compounds for altering NMDA receptor function worked by binding to all subtypes of NMDA receptors, and either completely blocked the receptors or put them in a permanently active state. Researchers have theorized that modulating the receptors only at active synapses may help diverse cognitive diseases by potentiating synaptic function and increasing neuronal communication.
In 2016, Genentech researchers first reported the development of a new class of experimental drugs that selectively bound to one subtype of NMDA receptors—those found only at the synapses. The new drug was also unique because rather than directly activating the receptors, it amplified the receptors’ signals primarily when engaged by neurotransmitters, the chemicals neurons use to communicate with each other.
“These compounds enhance naturally occurring activity at the synapses, rather than turning the receptors on all the time,” said Keran Ma, a staff scientist at Gladstone and a co-first author of the paper. “Thus, active synapses are potentiated in a more physiologically relevant way.”
Gladstone and Genentech researchers teamed up to test the effect of one of the new experimental drugs, GNE-0723, on mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and Dravet syndrome. In the new paper, they report that GNE-0723 reduced a type of brain activity called low-frequency oscillations. These oscillations occur naturally even in healthy people, but are more prominent in Alzheimer’s disease and Dravet syndrome, and can be associated with epileptic brain activity, which can contribute to impaired cognition and memory loss. When the researchers treated mice simulating Alzheimer’s disease or Dravet syndrome with GNE-0723, low-frequency oscillations returned to levels seen in healthy control mice, and epileptic activity ceased.
“What we saw after the treatment were brain-wide changes in neural activity that shift the brain to a more active state that facilitates learning and memory,” said Palop, who is also an associate professor of neurology at UC San Francisco.
Indeed, after diseased mice were treated with the experimental drug for several weeks, they performed better in learning and memory tests than untreated animals—they both learned faster and retained memories longer.
Two different types of brain cells—interneurons and excitatory cells—have NMDA receptors, and future studies will address which cell type is responsible for the beneficial effects of GNE-0723.
At Genentech, Hanson also explained that more research is needed to understand how this class of experimental drugs affects brain function. “For now, we’re focused on using GNE-0723 as a research tool to learn what happens when you enhance NMDA receptors,” Hanson said. “This is a powerful tool to understand both basic biology and disease mechanisms.”
Media ContactMegan McDevitt, Vice President of CommunicationsDirect line: 415.734.2019​
Source: Gladstone Institutes

Fontella Bateman's New Book 'Sarah's Alzheimer's Story' is a Helpful Key in Knowing How to Act and Give Love and Care to Someone Who Struggles With Alzheimer's

Recent release “Sarah’s Alzheimer’s Story” from Covenant Books author Fontella Bateman is a heartfelt and honest retelling of Sarah and her family’s journey with Alzheimer’s, which also speaks of their love for one another and their unity as they walked this rough path.
Press Release – updated: Jan 10, 2020 06:00 EST

PASADENA, Md., January 10, 2020 (Newswire.com) – Fontella Bateman, a part-time administrative assistant in the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has completed her new book, “Sarah’s Alzheimer’s Story”: a comforting read that brings tips and ideas that will help one find a way to take care of a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Fontella shares, “In telling Sarah’s Alzheimer’s Story, the writer takes you back to where it all began in the hills of Kentucky where Sarah was born. You may laugh, cry, or simply wonder as you go with her through her journey of life.
The reader will get to know about the strong woman Sarah and how she endures many tragedies. One will find that even though memory loss is a large part of Alzheimer’s disease, in Sarah’s case, there is so much more.
Throughout the story, the writer sometimes takes you back to incidents earlier in Sarah’s life. In the writer’s opinion, Sarah may be recalling something from the past, causing her to act the way she does. This seems to be especially true when she begins to see or talk to imaginary people. Dealing with this disease is often a struggle for Sarah and her family. But hopefully, you will see the joy in their laughter, the sorrow in their tears, and feel their strong love.
It is hard to watch this very strong woman deteriorate mentally, physically, and lose her personality. But this writer believes that there is a reason, even if we do not understand it at the time.”
Published by Covenant Books of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Fontella Bateman’s new book shares to the readers a touching memoir of a woman who suffered with Alzheimer’s. This will inspire them with her family’s beautiful story which is also written in the hopes of reaching those who face a similar situation.
Readers can purchase “Sarah’s Alzheimer’s Story” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes Store, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
Covenant Books is an international Christian owned and operated publishing house based in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Covenant Books specializes in all genres of work which appeal to the Christian market. For additional information or media inquiries, contact Covenant Books at 843-507-8373.
Source: Covenant Books

Mount Pleasant Alzheimer's Special Care Center Offers a Chance to Experience What It's Like Living With Dementia

Mount Pleasant Gardens Offers Caregivers a Chance to Experience What It’s Like Living with Dementia
Press Release – updated: Jan 6, 2020 16:12 EST

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., January 6, 2020 (Newswire.com) – Mount Pleasant Gardens, a leader in providing quality care and housing services to people living with memory loss, is hosting a special event designed to help caregivers experience the challenges of living with dementia. Dementia Live is an innovative program designed by a team of dementia experts from AGE-u-cate Training Institute. This special event will be held at 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 at the community located at 1025 Hungryneck Blvd. Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.
Dementia Live uses special gear to help simulate the cognitive impairments and sensory changes that are part of living with dementia. Participants will gain a sense of the obstacles and difficulties those living with dementia face daily.
“The goal of this program is to give caregivers a greater sense of understanding and empathy for what their loved ones face every day,” says Leanne Lovin, Community Resource Director. “By having a greater understanding, we hope to foster a greater sense of compassion, helping caregivers to provide better support for the ones they love.”
If you are interested in attending this special event, please call Mount Pleasant Gardens 843-216-1001. To learn more about Dementia Live or our memory care, please visit https://www.jeaseniorliving.com/senior-living/sc/mount-pleasant/mt-pleasant-gardens/contact-us.
Source: Mount Pleasant Gardens Alzheimer’s Special Care Center

The Judy Fund and Compass Combating Alzheimer’s Together

Elizabeth Stearns

We hit that goal in our very first year, and over the next 10 years raised more than $2 million for our community. Now we are part of the larger Compass Cares organization, but our local fundraising is now around $1 million per year and our national goals are over $10 million per year.

LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) December 02, 2019
Stearns’ firm, Partners Trust, was founded in 2009 with the goal of creating a revolutionary real estate culture that required and expected associates to perform at the highest professional and ethical level. Partners Trust later became part of the Compass family in 2018. Compass is now the largest independent real estate brokerage firm in the country.
“We started the Charitable Giving Fund at Partners Trust in 2009. Our goal was to raise at least $100,000 per year and give it to local organizations and charities in the fields of education, arts, healthcare and children’s care,” said Stearns. “We hit that goal in our very first year, and over the next 10 years raised more than $2 million for our community. Now we are part of the larger Compass Cares organization, but our local fundraising is now around $1 million per year and our national goals are over $10 million per year.”
This year, The Judy Fund was honored to be chosen as one of the three charities selected as a beneficiary by The Compass/PartnersTrust Charitable Foundation, which has granted funds to over 100 organizations to date. Compass, Los Angeles is a major supporter of The Judy Fund and Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Richard’s wife, Elizabeth Stearns, chaired and organized The Judy Fund Team during the recent Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and agents and staff of Compass supported the annual team by walking with them and assisting with additional fundraising. The Judy Fund National Walk Team had 42 teams nationwide this year and has raised $64,300 to date.
“Together we are helping the Alzheimer’s Association search for a cure and care for those who are living with or are affected by the disease through the support of our local chapters,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is a nationally recognized advocate for the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease research and care. Elizabeth’s mother Judy Gelfand was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 62, and passed away at 70. In response to the initial diagnosis, Elizabeth, who spent 16 years at Universal Pictures, transitioned from her role to partner with her father, Marshall Gelfand, on the development of The Judy Fund.
To date, the fund has raised and granted $8.5 million to support the research, care and advocacy efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. In fact, it is the largest and fastest growing fund in the history of the Alzheimer’s Association. Today, The Judy Fund has more than 2,500 donors nationwide and a new goal to raise $10 million by 2020.
About The Judy FundMarshall M. Gelfand and his family established The Judy Fund at the Alzheimer’s Association in 2003 in loving memory of his wife, Judy Gelfand. Its mission is to help create Alzheimer’s survivorship for future generations. Through the generosity of families, friends, business colleagues and corporations, The Judy Fund, now chaired by Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, remains the fastest and largest growing family fund at the Alzheimer’s Association.
About Richard Stearns, CompassRichard Stearns is consistently recognized as a top producer by The Wall Street Journal and named to both Variety Magazine’s Los Angeles Real Estate Elite and Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Real Estate Agents. Compass agents are leaders in their markets, consistently ranking highest in customer satisfaction and revenues. For more information, please call (310) 850-9284, or visit http://www.compass.com.
For media inquiries, please call THE NALA at 805.650.6121, ext. 361.

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Hickory Hills Alzheimer's Special Care Center Offers a Chance to Experience What It's Like Living With Dementia

Press Release – updated: Nov 26, 2019 16:46 EST

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn., November 26, 2019 (PressRelease.com) – Hickory Hills Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, a leader in providing quality care and housing services to people living with memory loss, is hosting a special event designed to help caregivers experience the challenges of living with dementia. Dementia Live is an innovative program designed by a team of dementia experts from AGE-u-cate Training Institute. This special event will be held at 2:30 to 4:30 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the community located at 162 Indian Lake Blvd, Hendersonville TN 37075.
Dementia Live uses special gear to help simulate the cognitive impairments and sensory changes that are part of living with dementia. Participants will gain a sense of the obstacles and difficulties those living with dementia face on a daily basis.
 “The goal of this program is to give caregivers a greater sense of understanding and empathy for what their loved ones face every day,” says Marisa Parker, Administrator. “By having a greater understanding, we hope to foster a greater sense of compassion, helping caregivers to provide better support for the ones they love.”
If you are interested in attending this special event, please call the Hickory Hills Special Care Unit at 615.266.4473 or contact us online here:  https://1ad.biz/s/HickoryHills 

Predicting Alzheimer's Disease-Like Memory Loss Before It Strikes

New study shows how patterns in brain activity can be an early predictor of Alzheimer’s symptoms
SAN FRANCISCO, November 19, 2019 (Newswire.com) – For a person with Alzheimer’s disease, there’s no turning back the clock. By the time she begins to experience memory loss and other worrisome signs, cognitive decline has already set in. And decades of clinical trials have failed to produce treatments that could help her regain her memory. Today, researchers at Gladstone Institutes are approaching this devastating disease from a different angle.
In a new study published in Cell Reports, they demonstrate that particular patterns of brain activity can predict far in advance whether a young mouse will develop Alzheimer’s-like memory deficits in old age.
“Being able to predict deficits long before they appear could open up new opportunities to design and test interventions that prevent Alzheimer’s in people,” said Gladstone Senior Investigator Yadong Huang, senior author of the study.
The new work builds on a 2016 study of mice engineered to carry the gene for apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4). Carrying the ApoE4 gene is associated with an increased risk — but not a guarantee — of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. As they age, ApoE4 mice often, but not always, develop signs of memory loss similar to those seen in people with Alzheimer’s.
In the previous study, Huang and his team investigated a type of brain activity called sharp-wave ripples (SWRs), which play a direct role in spatial learning and memory formation in mammals. SWRs occur when the brain of a resting mouse or human rapidly and repeatedly replays a recent memory of moving through a space, such as a maze or a house.
“SWRs have two important measurable components: abundance and short gamma (SG) power,” said Emily Jones, Ph.D., lead author of the new study and recent graduate of UC San Francisco’s (UCSF) Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. “Broadly, SWR abundance predicts how quickly an ApoE4 mouse can learn and memorize how to get through a maze, and SG power predicts how accurate that memory will be.”
The earlier study revealed that aging ApoE4 mice have lower SWR abundance and weaker SG power than seen in healthy aging mice. Based on those results, Jones and her colleagues hypothesized that measuring SWR activity could predict the severity of demonstrable memory problems in ApoE4 mice during aging.
To test this idea, the researchers first recorded SWR activity in aging ApoE4 mice at rest. One month later, they had the mice perform spatial tasks to test their memory. They found that mice with fewer SWRs and lower SG power were indeed more likely to have worse spatial memory deficits.
“We actually successfully replicated this experiment two years later with different mice,” said Huang, who is also a professor of neurology and pathology at UCSF. “What was striking is that we were able to use the results from the first cohort to predict with high accuracy the extent of learning and memory deficits in the second cohort, based on their SWR activity.”
Even more striking were the unexpected results of the team’s next experiment.
The researchers were curious how SWR activity evolves over a mouse’s lifetime, which no one had previously investigated. So, they periodically measured SWRs in ApoE4 mice from an early age — long before memory deficits appeared — through middle age and into old age.
“We thought that, if we got lucky, the SWR measurements we took when the mice were middle-aged might have some predictive relationship to later memory problems,” Jones said.
Surprisingly, the analysis revealed that deficits in SWR abundance and SG power at an early age predicted which mice performed worse on memory tasks 10 months later — the equivalent of 30 years for a human.
“We were not betting on these results, the idea that young mice with no memory problems already have the seed of what’s going to lead to deficits in old age,” Jones said. “Although we would love to, but we thought it would be ridiculous to be able to predict so far in advance.”
Since SWRs are also found in humans, these findings suggest that SWR abundance and SG power could potentially serve as early predictors of Alzheimer’s disease, long before memory problems arise.
As a next step toward evaluating that possibility, Huang will work with colleagues at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center to determine whether SWRs in Alzheimer’s patients show deficits in abundance and SG power similar to those seen in mouse models of the disease.
“A major advantage of this approach is that researchers have recently developed a noninvasive technique for measuring SWRs in people, without implanting electrodes in the brain,” Huang said.
If SWRs are indeed predictive of Alzheimer’s in humans, measuring them could boost research and drug development efforts in two important ways. First, they could be used to select participants for clinical trials, testing new drugs to stave off Alzheimer’s. Enrolling patients who already show SWR deficits would enhance the trials’ statistical power. Second, SWR measurements could be taken repeatedly and noninvasively, enabling researchers to test drug effects over time, even before memory deficits appear.
Huang emphasizes the value of SWRs as a functional predictor, one that directly measures the decline in brain function seen in Alzheimer’s, as opposed to a pathological change that only appears as a result of the underlying disease.
“I feel strongly that Alzheimer’s research should not just focus on pathology but use functional alterations like SWR deficits to guide research and drug development,” he said. “Our new findings support this kind of approach.”
The new study is just one facet of Gladstone’s extensive Alzheimer’s research program. “Gladstone provides a unique setting that makes it possible to do the kind of translational research necessary to improve understanding and treatment of this disease,” Huang said.
About the Research Project
Other authors include Anna Gillespie, Ph.D., from UCSF; Seo Yeon Yoon from Gladstone; and Loren Frank, Ph.D., from UC San Francisco and the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes.
The work was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (grant 1144247), a National Institute on Aging Predoctoral Fellowship (grant F31AG057150), a Genentech Foundation Fellowship, a Simons Collaboration for the Global Brain Fellowship, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the National Institute on Aging (grants RF1AG047655, RF1AG055421, and R01AG055682).
About the Gladstone Institutes
To ensure our work does the greatest good, the Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact — unsolved diseases. Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease. It has an academic affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco.
Media Contact:Megan McDevitt  megan.mcdevitt@gladstone.org415.734.2019
Source: Gladstone Institutes

Research on Alzheimer’s Disease is Highlighted on “Behind The Scenes” with Laurence Fishburne

…medical researchers worldwide are collaborating in hope of discovering a greater understanding of Alzheimer’s in order to ultimately find a remedy or preventive measure for the illness conduct an extensive level of scientific inquiry.

MIAMI (PRWEB) November 08, 2019
“The Matrix”, “Deep Cover”, and “John Wick” series star Laurence Fishburne is the host of the educational television program “Behind The Scenes”. This informational program seeks to inform its public audience about a myriad of topics affecting people all over the world today. In an impending episode of “Behind The Scenes,” the show will explore a topic within the world of medical research. The episode will highlight medical professionals as they delve into the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
This specific episode will explore the medical developments in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research and will discuss the impact of the ailment on those suffering with it. Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating form of dementia affecting thousands of Americans every day. On average, an individual diagnosed with the affliction has a life span of four to eight years after they are given their prognosis. Affecting memory loss and multiple cognitive abilities, the disease takes a heavy toll on performing daily tasks and quality of life.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the top contributors of death in the United States today. Currently the condition has no cure. However, medical researchers worldwide are collaborating in hope of discovering a greater understanding of Alzheimer’s in order to ultimately find a remedy or preventive measure for the illness conduct an extensive level of scientific inquiry. The segment will feature leaders in the field to discuss these developments.
“Behind The Scenes” with Laurence Fishburne is a carefully reviewed television program prior to being broadcast to a larger viewing audience. The show has received a multitude of awards in recognition of its work.

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$4.5 Million to Study How Neurovascular Dysfunction Contributes to Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's Disease

NIH award supports collaborative work to discover the connection between neurovascular dysfunction and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.
Press Release – updated: Oct 31, 2019 13:59 PDT

SAN FRANCISCO, October 31, 2019 (Newswire.com) – ​Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes loss of memory. Despite decades of research into how the disease causes brain cells to die, there is no cure.
In the last several years, a string of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease therapies have failed. These failures suggest that scientists need to take a fresh look at what drives Alzheimer’s disease to design new approaches.
Researchers at Gladstone Institutes are doing just that. A team led by Senior Investigator Katerina Akassoglou was recently awarded over $4.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how dysfunction of blood vessels in the brain (the neurovascular system) can lead to neurodegeneration.
“There is an emerging interest in the contribution of vascular dysfunction to Alzheimer’s disease. We know that in Alzheimer’s disease, changes to blood vessels in the brain occur really early, and they correlate and often precede dementia,” explained Akassoglou, who is also a professor of neurology at UC San Francisco.
However, whether and how this vascular dysfunction causes cognitive decline remains a mystery.
Akassoglou and her team previously showed that one consequence of vascular dysfunction is that proteins normally found in the blood can leak into the brain due to a compromised blood-brain barrier. Specifically, their research pinpointed a damaging effect of fibrinogen, a blood protein important for clotting, that is deposited in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. When fibrinogen escapes the blood vessels and enters the brain, it can activate the brain’s immune cells and trigger them to destroy important connections between neurons, hastening the loss of synapses and entire nerve cells.
Another finding that has emerged from recent research is that the activity of neurons—the rate and rhythm with which they fire—is altered in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Research from Gladstone investigators Jorge Palop and Lennart Mucke has shown that these changes to neuronal activity can occur decades before the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Alzheimer’s-associated changes in neuronal activity also include seizures.
This new NIH grant will support Akassoglou, Palop, and a third collaborator, Mark Ellisman, at UC San Diego, as they join forces to investigate whether these two aspects of Alzheimer’s disease—vascular dysfunction and excessive neuronal activity—are related, and whether blocking one can prevent the other.
“How dysfunction of the vascular and immune systems alters ongoing neuronal activity is a critical question in the study of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Palop. “We can record brain electrical activity in a mouse for weeks at a time and observe how vascular damage affects neuronal function.”
“We know that the vascular alterations and blood leaks are present in Alzheimer’s disease, but we do not know how they affect neuronal activity,” said Akassoglou. “Connecting the dots between blood leaks, the brain’s immune cells, and neuronal activity could change the way we think how cognitive decline develops and be the cornerstone for developing new treatments.”
The project builds on a long-running collaboration between Akassoglou and Ellisman, a distinguished professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and an expert in multiscale microscopy. Ellisman is the director of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, and is a pioneer in the development of 3-dimensional light and electron microscopy applied to the study of the structure and function of normal and abnormal nervous systems.
By combining state-of-the-art imaging techniques with recordings of neuronal activity, the researchers hope to discover the series of events that lead to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. They also hope to identify new therapeutic targets that might prevent this process.
“It’s critical to understand the relationships between vascular, neuronal, and immune dysfunctions,” said Lennart Mucke, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. “This work and related studies by other groups in our institute will be invaluable in the design of novel therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and a range of other impactful brain disorders.”
About Gladstone InstitutesTo ensure our work does the greatest good, the Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact—unsolved diseases. Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease. It has an academic affiliation with the University of California, San Francisco.
Source: Gladstone Institutes

Meridian Senior Living Communities Recognize National Alzheimer’s Disease Month

Building upon the momentum of raising over $35,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s as a National Team Member, Meridian Senior Living, LLC will recognize National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in November and host free memory care workshops in their communities. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan dedicated November to Alzheimer’s disease to increase awareness and demystify fallacies surrounding the disease.(PRWeb October 28, 2019)Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/meridian_senior_living_communities_recognize_national_alzheimers_disease_month/prweb16670833.htm