Weekly ACA’s Weekly Email March 26, 2021

Zoom Support Groups available online:

Alzheimer’s News:

What if we think of Alzheimer’s not as one disease, but three separate ones, with overlapping symptoms? Researchers behind a new study say Alzheimer’s encapsulates three distinct molecular conditions, and that a better understanding of each could be a lifeline for failed Alzheimer’s treatment efforts and future research.  The team of researchers used molecular signatures and network regulator genes to classify people into three major subclasses. Each subtype is distinct from the pathological connotations of the disease — meaning while these subtypes share the same symptoms, they may not be effectively targeted by the same treatments.  Is Alzheimer’s Actually Three Separate Diseases? – Being Patient

Depression and anxiety are tied to earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new report. Of the 1,500 study participants 43% had a history of depression and go on to develop Alzheimer’s about two years earlier than those without depression. Those with anxiety who develop Alzheimer’s are given a diagnosis about three years earlier, on average, than those without anxiety.  The findings underscore the importance of screening for mental health disorders like depression and anxiety among older men and women.

People with Depression or Anxiety May Develop Alzheimer’s at Younger Ages | Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (alzinfo.org)

If neurologists Dean Sherzai, M.D., and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., had to pick one tell-all for stellar brain health, it would be razor-sharp focus. “Attention is the gatekeeper of consciousness.  We say there’s no such thing as multitasking; it’s doing multiple things badly,” Your attention becomes compromised as you multitask—and as we noted above, keeping your attention sharp is key for optimizing brain function as you age. So as you get older and your focus becomes more and more affected, multitasking only makes it harder to stay sharp, opt for single-focus activities – like dishwashing!  Neurologists On How Dishwashing Leads To Better Brain Health (mindbodygreen.com)

The court-appointed lead lawyer for thousands of retired players suing the NFL pledged Monday to try to remove race as a factor in dementia testing, but lawyers for Black players demanded the release the data on payouts by race in the $1 billion concussion settlement.  They argue that Black men are being denied awards that average more than $500,000 because of testing methods that assume Black people have lower cognitive function than white people. That makes it harder to show they’ve suffered neurological damage linked to NFL concussions.  Lawyers Battle Over ‘Race-Norming’ in NFL Dementia Tests (medscape.com)

For much of the past century, a definitive Alzheimer’s diagnosis could only be made during an autopsy. Brain imaging and spinal fluid tests now make it possible to spot the disease in patients even before the initial symptoms appear. But these invasive tests are expensive and generally limited to research settings.  Advances in technologies to detect early signs of disease from a blood sample are helping doctors to identify the memory-robbing disorder more accurately.  Detecting Alzheimer’s Gets Easier with a Simple Blood Test – Scientific American

According to local Alzheimer’s advocate, Lynda Everman, 8.7 million Alzheimer’s Postal Stamps have been sold as of the end of February, raising $1.1 million for life saving NIH funded dementia research 10 cents at a time! Her goal is to sell in one year what was sold in two and raise another million dollars for the NIH by the end of this year.  Stamps can be purchased online at:

https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/alzheimers-S_564204

Can eating a specific food or following a particular diet help prevent or delay dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease? Many studies suggest that what we eat affects the aging brain’s ability to think and remember. These findings have led to research on general eating patterns and whether they might make a difference.  Learn more about the Mediterranean MIND diet.

What Do We Know About Diet and Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease? | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)

The Humans of Dementia Storytelling Contest is accepting submissions until April 22.   This year’s contest, for high school or college in the U.S. or Canada is focusing on intergenerational storytelling and will accept written and photo submissions featuring individuals currently living with or who have passed away from Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.