Alzheimer's Association, July 18-23

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The Alzheimer's Association International Conference

The annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference was held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C., and attracted more than 4,000 participants from around the world, including researchers, dementia specialists, and neurologists. The conference featured the latest advances in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias, with presentations focusing on the identification, prevention, treatment, and management of AD, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and associated conditions.

In one study, Fernando Goni, Ph.D., of the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues found that monoclonal antibodies could reverse AD pathology in older mice that had already developed symptoms.

"The anti-conformational monoclonal antibodies that we have developed against what we think is commonality on many neurodegenerative diseases did recognize pathological structures on human brain tissue from Alzheimer's, prion, and Parkinson's disease patients," Goni said.

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In another study, Nancy Donovan, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues analyzed 12-year data from over 8,000 adults age 65 and older, living across the United States, and found that loneliness was associated with a 20 percent faster rate of cognitive decline.

"In additional analyses that looked at the co-occurring effects of loneliness and depression over time, we found that the effects of loneliness were reduced and became only marginally significant. This suggests that loneliness and depression impact cognition via similar mechanisms over time," Donovan said. "We are currently studying loneliness and depression in relation to neuroimaging and biological markers in the Harvard Aging Brain Study, a separate longitudinal study of over 250 older adults. This will help us understand the biological mechanisms underlying loneliness, depression, and the onset of mild cognitive impairment and dementia."

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Tina Hoang, M.S.P.H, of the Northern California Institute for Research and Education in San Francisco, and colleagues found that long-term patterns of low physical activity and high television viewing are associated with worse cognitive function in midlife.

"Physical activity and sedentary behaviors are important for brain health even in early adulthood," Hoang said. "These behaviors are modifiable, and thus, important targets for dementia prevention. Intervention strategies for cognitive aging may need to begin earlier in the life course."

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Marcia Taylor, Ph.D., of the Treventis Corporation in Toronto, and colleagues have identified a small molecule capable of attenuating both beta-amyloid and tau oligomers (toxic species) tied to AD.

"Our lead compound (TRV 101) is able to block both beta-amyloid and tau from forming toxic oligomers in vitro. The compound is able to lower both beta-amyloid and tau oligomers in the brains of animal models," Taylor said. "Longer-term animal studies will be undertaken. Further safety information will be acquired. Investigational new drug-enabling studies will commence in January 2016."

The study was funded in part by Treventis, the developer of TRV 101.

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AAIC: Hints That New Drug May Slow Alzheimer's Progression

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A drug called solanezumab may slow Alzheimer's disease progression by about one-third, a new study from drug maker Eli Lilly suggests. The findings were presented at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C. The results of a separate clinical trial of solanezumab are expected next year.

Health Highlights: July 22, 2015

AAIC: Exercise Can Treat Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise may be the best medicine for seniors facing the onset of dementia, according to three new clinical trials. The research was scheduled for presentation Thursday at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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AAIC: Gender Differences Seen With General Anesthesia

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Older women are more likely than men to experience deterioration of cognitive function and brain volume after surgery with general anesthesia, new research finds. The study was scheduled to be presented Tuesday at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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AAIC: As Baby Boomers Age, Alzheimer's Rates Will Soar

MONDAY, July 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people with Alzheimer's disease is set to increase significantly in the United States due to the aging of the baby-boom generation, and the cost of caring for these patients will use up a large proportion of Medicare's budget, new research suggests. Findings from the study were scheduled to be presented Monday at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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AAIC: Saliva Test May Help Spot Alzheimer's

MONDAY, July 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early data suggest a test based on a patient's saliva might someday help detect Alzheimer's disease. The study was to be presented Sunday at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

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