Posts tagged: Alzheimer’s

Turmeric, the hot topic: Spicing-up brain repair and regeneration

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Image credit: Giovanni Dall'Orto/Wikimedia Commons

Any cook or foodie savouring South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, will prize the key spice, the mustard coloured turmeric powder. In this guest post, Deirdre Hoban, a PhD student from Galway Neuroscience Centre, informs us that the spice’s uses extend beyond one’s culinary needs as it could serve a role in modern medicine.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous plant of the ginger family that is conventionally used as a spice in Asian cuisine due to its characteristic yellow colour and pungent aroma. However, it has also been used for centuries as a remedy for various ailments in traditional Eastern medicine. The role of turmeric in traditional medicine is indicated by its presence in medicinal preparations described in traditional Ayurvedic medicine

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Dementia: Can we reduce the risk?


September is World Alzheimer’s Month. Today’s guest author, Marc Wortmann, the Executive Director at Alzheimer’s Disease International talks about the international campaign and the recommendations laid out by this year’s annual report.

World Alzheimer’s Month is the global awareness month for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. This is an important month to have because in large parts of the world dementia is still considered a normal part of ageing, rather than a disease of the brain. Alzheimer’s Disease International coordinates awareness and public policy efforts and uses this month to launch its World Alzheimer Report.

This year, the World Alzheimer Report 2014 focuses on modifiable risk factors. It shows there is strong evidence that cardiovascular risk factors, as well as …

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The failure rate of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s – why we need to raise our game

Dr Simon Ridley

New research published today in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy has shown that the failure rate for Alzheimer’s Disease drug development is 99.6%. In this guest blog, Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, discusses the challenges we are facing in tackling this devastating condition, and what we can do to address them.

Dementia is the name for a collection of many different conditions, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. Alzheimer’s is characterised by a gradual decline in memory and changes in behaviour and communication. In the later stages, people often forget their friends and family as well as how to walk and feed themselves …

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Brain Awareness, everywhere!



Today is the start of Brain Awareness Week, which has been led by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives since 1996. Running from today until 16th March, the week seeks to raise awareness of the benefits and advancement of brain research around the world.

It’s great to see that this year, many leading research institutions and awareness organizations are hosting events aimed at students and the general public. In fact, more than 600 events are taking place worldwide, including open days at neuroscience labs and institutions, social media campaigns (#brainweek), exhibitions, workshops, lectures and much more (you can find the events in your area by visiting the calendar for the week at:

To begin celebrating …

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Coordinating care for people with dementia and their carers improves outcomes


One of the commitments from the recent G8 dementia summit held in London in December 2013, was to support countries to strengthen health and social care systems, with the aim to improve care and services for people with dementia.

A research article, published today in open access journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, shows that a care coordination programme for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers resulted in improvements in psychosocial function of people with dementia. The programme, a partnership between community and health organisations, also showed positive results for carers.

The programme, called Partners in Dementia Care (PDC), is a partnership between healthcare and community agencies that provides care coordination for medical and non-medical needs of both patients …

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Accelerating medical discoveries in dementia and rheumatology


This week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 10 biopharmaceutical companies and several non-profit organizations launched an unprecedented partnership to transform the current model for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets of disease for new diagnostics and drug development.

Currently in the US, developing a drug from early discovery through Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval takes well over a decade and has a failure rate of more than 95%. As a consequence, each success can cost $1 billion or more. It was therefore recognised that new approaches were required, and that collaborative efforts might be a way to increase the collective odds of success.

Through the Foundation for the NIH, the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) will invest …

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‘Lewy body dementia’ – special series call for submissions


Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy is now accepting research submissions for consideration in a special series on Lewy body dementia, planned for publication in mid-2014.

The publication of these articles will be co-ordinated with a series of commissioned reviews and opinions, guest edited by co-Series Editors Prof Ian McKeith (Newcastle University, UK) and Prof James Galvin (NYU, USA), and written by leaders in the field including John O’Brien (Cambridge University, UK), Brit Mollenhauer (Paracelsus Elena Klinik, Germany) and Glenda Halliday (Neuroscience Research Australia).

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the second most frequent cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, affecting approximately 4 million people globally. LBD consists of two related syndromes: dementia with …

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Nanoparticles ‘smuggle’ drugs into brain to treat Alzheimer’s disease

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Nanoparticles embedded with drugs can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, according to a cell-based study published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy today. The results of this study demonstrate nanoparticles are a promising tool to transport drugs to the brain for use in neurological conditions.

Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most common forms of dementia, is associated with pathological deposits of the amyloid-beta protein in the brain. Blocking the accumulation of amyloid-beta is thought to be one potential way of slowing the onset of the disease .

There have been many examples where clinical trials using anti-inflammatory drugs, which lower amyloid-beta levels to treat the disease, have failed. It …

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Does being overweight increase the risk of dementia?

fat man and skinny man

There is conflicting evidence on whether high adiposity (shown physically as being overweight or obese) causes Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In a new debate published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy today, Deborah Gustafson (State University of New York, USA) and José Luchsinger (Columbia University, USA) review the evidence for and against this controversial association.

Some of the most convincing evidence for an association is from studies of mid-life risk factors. Some epidemiologic studies show that a high BMI, or central obesity, in mid-life is a risk factor for dementia, with an association measured at least a decade prior to a clinical dementia diagnosis. Biological evidence also supports high adiposity as an independent risk factor for …

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Current concepts in Alzheimer’s Disease: molecules, models and translational perspectives


During last year’s Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting, the BrightFocus Foundation, (previously the American Health Assistance Foundation,) and The Internationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek held the third in a series of interactive workshops for both junior and senior scientists to discuss the emerging concepts in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Due to growing life expectancies, AD, along with other forms of dementia, are becoming increasingly important concerns and necessitate scientific discussions such as this to help further understand and develop therapies for this disease.


To celebrate the success of the workshop, Molecular Neurodegeneration, the official journal of the BrightFocus Foundation, is publishing a thematic series titled “Current concepts in Alzheimer’s Disease: molecules, models and translational …

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