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Doctors plan to test a gene therapy that could prevent Alzheimer’s disease

o one knows for certain what causes Alzheimer’s disease. But one fact about the condition has gained nearly irrefutable status. Depending on what versions of a gene called APOEyou inherit, your risk of the brain disorder can be half the average—or more than 12 times as high. Sometimes called “the forgetting gene,” APOE comes in three common versions, called 2, 3, and 4. Type 2 lowers a person’s risk, 3 is average, and 4 increases the chance dramatically. The risk is so great that doctors avoid testing people for APOE because a bad result can be upsetting, and there’s nothing to do about it. There’s no cure, and you can’t change your genes, either. Read the full article HERE BUNYOS | GETTY

PET scans ID biomarkers that could spare breast cancer patients from chemotherapy

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, have used PET scans to identify biomarkers that may help predict which breast cancer patients can avoid chemotherapy treatment. The team published its findings online in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Roughly 8 percent of all breast cancers are estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, HER2-positive. Standard treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor, antibody therapy to cut off the ability of the HER2 gene to support the growth of breast cancer cells and chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells. Read the full article HERE

The Link Between Menopause and Alzheimer’s

Women make up nearly two-thirds of patients with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S., in part because they live longer than men. Now, researchers are exploring whether hormonal changes related to menopause affect the development of the disease. “The truth is that Alzheimer’s is not a disease of old age, it’s a disease of middle age,” says Lisa Mosconi, director of the Weill Cornell Women’s Brain Initiative in New York City, a research program aimed at reducing Alzheimer’s risk. “In reality, the brain changes start in mid-life.” Read the full article HERE

'Cellular barcoding' reveals how breast cancer spreads

A cutting-edge technique called cellular barcoding has been used to tag, track and pinpoint cells responsible for the spread of breast cancer from the main tumour into the blood and other organs. The technique also revealed how chemotherapy temporarily shrinks the number of harmful cells, rather than eliminating them, explaining how the cancer could eventually relapse. Read the full article HERE Credit: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Insulin signaling failures in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease

Scientists continue to find evidence linking Type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia and the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. However, little is understood about the mechanism by which the two are connected. Now, researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, have demonstrated that impaired insulin signaling in the brain negatively affects cognition, mood and metabolism, all components of Alzheimer's Disease. Read the full article HERE Credit: Joslin Communications

What is “Stage Zero” Breast Cancer—and Should You Be Worried About it?

In the early 20th century, in a lab at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, a surgeon named Joseph Colt Bloodgood made a series of medical observations that have influenced how doctors treat breast cancer to this day. Bloodgood argued that a biopsy could show “a pre-existing local defect which is benign and in which later there may be a cancerous development” and was the first to describe, in a 1934 paper, “precancerous” lesions of the breast. In other words, abnormal cells (the “local defect”) could exist without turning into cancer. There may be a cancerous development. What Bloodgood described 85 years ago as precancerous tissue of the breast is what doctors now call DCIS, ductal carcinom

A new culprit of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease

It has long been known that patients with Alzheimer's disease have abnormalities in the vast network of blood vessels in the brain. Some of these alterations may also contribute to age-related cognitive decline in people without dementia. However, the ways in which such vascular pathologies contribute to cognitive dysfunction have largely remained a mystery. Until now, that is. Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, led by Senior Investigator Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., showed for the first time that a blood-clotting protein called fibrinogen is responsible for a series of molecular and cellular events that can destroy connections between neurons in the brain and result in cognitive decline

Health Trends: Innovations in Breast Cancer Research

Groundbreaking research and the newest technology have improved the chances of early detection, diagnosis and optimal treatment. Annual mammograms are encouraged for women over the age of 45 and at least every other year after the age of 55, depending on your medical history. What many health providers aren’t telling you is that, between each regular mammogram, great strides are being made in research and detection. So, your experience may change the next time you show up for an exam. It’s good news, although it may not seem that way at first. After my most recent mammogram, I received the dreaded callback. It had happened a couple of times before. My mother, aunt and oldest sister had been

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