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ALZHEIMER’S: Update on the latest research

This is a 40-minute audio interview with two leading Alzheimer’s researchers, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi (Harvard) and Dr. Berislav Zlokovic (University of Southern California).  They are discussing the latest thinking and direction of research into dementia.  This discussion is intended for clinicians.

Alzheimer’s patients tend to have the disease for a long time – as long as 10 to 15 years – before symptoms occur.  One avenue of research is how to identify patients at a younger age, when they are asymptomatic.

There is an important connection between the overall health of the vascular system and staving off the accumulation of amyloid β-proteins into plaque in the brain.  The brain has some 400 miles of blood vessels and is good at quickly creating new blood vessels as needed.  Exercise prompts this.  Researchers are investigating ways to keep amyloid β – which has the function of fighting pathogens – from clumping up and failing to be cleared from the brain when their role is done and then killing neurons.  There is also investigation into what the pathogens are that are triggering the amyloid in the first place – and whether there might be possibility of a vaccine.

Source: Alzheimer outlook far from bleak. (2017, February 15). JAMA.  Click here for free access: http://jamanetwork.com/learning/audio-player/14072698  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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