Sleep cycle troubles may be early sign of Alzheimer’s disease

A fitful night's sleep and a habit of daytime catnapping may be an early-warning sign of Alzheimer's dementia, according to new research conducted in humans and mice. Restless nights and sleepy days are a common pattern in patients with full-blown Alzheimer's. Those disrupted circadian rhythms are a symptom that can upend the lives of caregivers and cause confusion and anxiety in patients. Less dramatic levels of sleep disruption, including trouble falling asleep and more frequent nighttime wakening, are also typical as people age. A new study finds that, in older people who show no signs of cognitive impairment, those with a sleep-wake cycle that is subtly off-kilter are more likely to have

Doctors Have a New Tool to Identify Breast Cancer

Scientists are working new ways to recognize breast cancer while at the same time studying existing methods of identification to find out what is best. Take mammograms, for example. During the test, a technician takes an X-ray picture of a woman’s breast as it is pressed between two glass plates. A radiologist then examines the image for signs of cancer. Mammograms are the best tools available for recognizing the disease. The number of breast cancer deaths has fallen by 30 percent in the United States since doctors began offering mammography in the 1970s. The reason: the chances of beating cancer are higher when the disease is found early. To read the full article, click HERE Written by Caro

Saving Brain Connections by Targeting Synaptic Proteins May Treat Alzheimer’s, Study Finds

Proteins in nerve cell synapses, which transmit signals between neurons, are abnormal in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Swedish researchers concluded after performing a large-scale analysis of synaptic proteins in patients’ brains. By studying these flaws, researchers could distinguish between Alzheimer’s patients and those with Parkinson’s disease dementia. A loss of synapses is tightly linked to cognitive decline in dementia. Therefore, the research team at Karolinska Institutet thinks that it may be possible to design treatments that prevent this loss by targeting the identified proteins — thereby preventing or slowing cognitive loss. Their study, “Sy

New machine may reduce surgery for some breast cancer patients

Dctors at the University of Maryland have developed a new form of radiation treatment that may reduce or eliminate the need for surgery to remove tumors in patients with early-stage breast cancer. The treatment, delivered by a machine called the GammaPod unveiled Monday at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, could alleviate some of the many worries of those diagnosed with the disease. The GammaPod, approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December, delivers strong doses of radiation more precisely to tumors. Doctors said it will not only reduce the number of radiation treatments a patient may need but will zap the cancer so thoroughly that there may be

Anxiety could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease

Anxiety symptoms could be a warning sign of Alzheimer's disease years before any symptoms of impairment are noticed, according to new research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Scientists have long studied risk factors — like depression — that could lead to Alzheimer's. But a recent study took a more specific approach and looked at the symptoms of depression — like anxiety — itself. It found that signs of anxiety could be indicators of Alzheimer's in its beginnings. "When compared to other symptoms of depression such as sadness or loss of interest, anxiety symptoms increased over time in those with higher amyloid beta levels in the brain," lead researcher and geriatric psychia

US OKs 1st drug aimed at women with inherited breast cancer

U.S. regulators have approved the first drug aimed at women with advanced breast cancer caused by?an inherited flawed gene. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved AstraZeneca PLC's Lynparza for patients with inherited BRCA gene mutations who have undergone chemotherapy. The drug has been on the market since 2014 for ovarian cancer, and is the first in a new class of medicines called PARP inhibitors to be approved for breast cancer. PARP inhibitors prevent cancer cells from fixing problems in their DNA. Lynparza will cost $13,886 per month without insurance, according to AstraZeneca. The company is offering patients financial assistance. To read the full article, click HERE Writt

Meet the Swiss CEO Pulling Out All the Stops Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Andrea Pfeifer started out as toxicologist in oncology before she moved into entrepreneurship. She left Germany after her PhD at the University of Würzburg for a postdoc at the NIH, but moved back for personal reasons. : “It was by pure chance that I ended up in Nestlé for two years, which turned into sixteen years,” she told me. At Nestlé, she headed Global Research in Switzerland, managed more than 600 people and raised €100M to co-found the company’s venture capital fund for life sciences. Pfeifer described the role as “internal entrepreneurship,” such that it didn’t seem like a huge change to move into a biotech startup. Pfeifer left Nestlé because she saw the opportunity to help people

Biannual MRI Better Than Annual Mammogram at Detecting Breast Cancer in High-risk Women, Study Finds

For young women with high genetic risk for breast cancer, intensive surveillance and examination by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) every six months is more effective for timely detection of early breast cancer lesions than annual mammogram, a new study finds. “This study demonstrates, for the first time, that aggressive breast cancers can be caught early, without excessive recalls or biopsies,” Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, professor of medicine and human genetics and director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, said in a press release. “Because of intensive surveillance and high quality care the majority of high-risk women in this

Triple-action diabetes drug shows promise as Alzheimer's treatment

In a new paper published in the journal Brain Research, the researchers explain how the "triple-action" drug resulted in a significant reversal of memory loss in mice that were genetically engineered to develop human-like Alzheimer's disease. The new drug "holds clear promise of being developed into a new treatment for chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease," says study leader Christian Hölscher, a professor in the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University in the U.K. To read the full article, click HERE Written by Catharine Paddock PhD for (Photo Credit:

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