Higlights of Canadian research and policy news.

This news brought to you by the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program and brainXchange. 

Surprising Result Finding Exercise May Make Dementia Symptoms Worse


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Exercise has long been shown to keep people healthy and often advised to promote mental health. However, in certain circumstances, this may not be correct and exercise may actually be harmful. Researchers from Oxford University sought to find if an exercise program would be beneficial to people with mild dementia. 494 people living with dementia were placed into two groups, those who received normal care and those who also participated in an exercise program twice a week and prescribed a home workout once a week.

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Surprising Result Finding Exercise May Make Dementia Symptoms Worse

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Exercise has long been shown to keep people healthy and often advised to promote mental health. However, in certain circumstances, this may not be correct and exercise may actually be harmful. Researchers from Oxford University sought to find if an exercise program would be beneficial to people with mild dementia. 494 people living with dementia were placed into two groups, those who received normal care and those who also participated in an exercise program twice a week and prescribed a home workout once a week.

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Mutation in Mice Reduces the Formation of Amyloid-Beta Plaques

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science have found a mutation in mice that has the potential to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that this mutation can reduce the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides. These amyloid-beta plaques are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease, created from the leftover part of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). They successfully recreated the APP gene mutation in mouse models for the purpose of the study. Previous research has shown that the deletion of the APP gene may reduce amyloid-beta plaques.

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Brown University Discovers Possible New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New research done at Brown University has discovered that stimulating autophagy could be a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Autophagy is a natural process within our bodies that works to break down old, dysfunctional, or damaged cells and replace them with new cells, using the recycled parts of the old cells. Through manipulation of proteins the researchers, Louis Lapierre and his team, were able to increase autophagy activity while working on worms and flies.

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RNA the Key to Memory?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Researchers from UCLA have successfully been able to transfer memories from one snail to another using ribonucleic acid (RNA) injections. The snails were subjected to minor shocks to their tails, enhancing their defensive withdrawal reflex. When the researchers simply tapped their tails, the shocked snails exhibited a sensitisation reaction and contracted their tails for 50 seconds, whereas control snails would only contract for 1 second. RNA was extracted from 7 shocked snails and injected into normal snails. These snails then behaved as if they had been shocked themselves.

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Head Injuries of All Severity Increase Risk of Dementia

Monday, May 14, 2018

Although concussions have been acknowledged in the media and research as having great risks and increase the potential to develop dementia, new research suggests that even small, seemingly insignificant hits to the head can increase one’s risk of dementia. In the United States 357, 558 veterans were tracked for approximately four years.

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Cholesterol in the Brain Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

Monday, May 14, 2018

Research out of the University of Cambridge has found that cholesterol is linked to Alzheimer’s disease as a catalyst for the formation of beta-amyloid proteins. While investigating what makes amyloid proteins aggregate, researchers found that cholesterol in the cell membrane of neurons act as a trigger and speeds up the process by a factor of 20. Cholesterol itself does not cross the blood-brain barrier but is found in cell membranes naturally.

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University of New Brunswick: New Computer Application to Determine Dementia Risk

Monday, May 14, 2018

Professor Sarah Pakzad, at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick, has developed a computer application that will help better predict the risk of dementia. By distinguishing the differences in one’s risk of developing dementia, those at higher risk will be able to take early preventative measures. As many memory problems can be symptoms of other disorders, such as anxiety or depression, it can be difficult to determine someone’s risk of developing dementia based on problems with memory alone.

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B.C. Government Provides Funding for Alzheimer Society's First Link Program

Monday, May 14, 2018

The British Columbia provincial government announced an investment of $2.7 million to create services tailored to the needs of people living with dementia and their care partners. The Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, announced the funding at the Olympic Village’s annual Walk for Alzheimer’s event. Recognizing the Alzheimer Society as a crucial resource for individuals living with dementia, the funding announced will be used to support the First Link program. First Link is a program that connects people living with dementia to doctors, as well as social services, immediately upon diagnosis.

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Hospitals are Failing our Population Living with Dementia

Friday, April 27, 2018

Research out of the University College London (UCL) in the UK looked into how often hospital staff recognized dementia in patients. The study found that regardless of diagnosis status healthcare professionals are still failing to understand and recognize the disease.

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