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Gene Therapies Enter Trials for Many Brain Pathologies—What about AD?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-11-28 Conference Coverage Buoyed by success in spinal muscular atrophy, scientists are once again devising gene-based therapies for neurodegeneration. Some are permanent, which makes proving their safety all the more challenging. Still, as shown at this year’s ...

Time to Try Again: Gene-Based Therapy for Neurodegeneration

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-11-27 Conference Coverage Twenty years ago, researchers took fibroblasts from the skin of eight Alzheimer’s patients, engineered them to produce nerve-growth factor, and slid them into each volunteer’s basal forebrain. They hoped the neurotrophin would halt or ...

Not Just Blood Pressure—Dietary Salt Linked to Tau Phosphorylation

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-10-25 Conference Coverage Too much salty food wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system, raising blood pressure, damaging small blood vessels, and limiting perfusion into the brain. But is this why salt increases the chances of cognitive impairment? Not so fast ...

Can Induced Neurons Identify Early Signs of Neurodegeneration?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-09-07 Conference Coverage Researchers have linked dozens of genetic loci to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and found dozens more that cause familial forms of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Teasing out how each contributes to pathology has proven a ...

Smart Homes Open Doors to Insights into Aging, Dementia

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-30 Conference Coverage Replicating existing paper-and-pencil tests on tablets or smartphones is one thing (Part 13 of this series), but what about taking technology itself to the next level? What are the prospects for continuously collecting information on ...

Technology Brings Dementia Detection to the Home

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-30 Conference Coverage The past decade has seen increasing use of technology in dementia research. Computer games that provide cognitive training have become part of prevention studies, and trialists are working to move cognitive testing out of the clinic ...

Proteomics Uncovers Potential Markers, Subtypes of Alzheimer’s

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-22 Conference Coverage In the last three decades, scientists have made strides in using biomarkers to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and track its progression. Along with cerebrospinal fluid Aβ, tau, and phospho-tau, a handful of new markers, such as ...

Synaptic Proteins in CSF: New Markers of Cognitive Decline?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-22 Conference Coverage Plasma tests for Aβ and phospho-tau may have stolen the show at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 14-18 in Los Angeles, but proteomic and synaptic markers were not that far behind. A neural ...

Why Bother With Round Robins on Blood Tests? Q&A with Kaj Blennow

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-21 Conference Coverage At the AAIC conference held July 14–18 in Los Angeles, Kaj Blennow of the University of Gothenburg had his hands full trying to get researchers in the field engaged in the nitpicky drudgery of validation, standardization, and ...

Are Aβ Blood Tests Ready for Prime Time?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-21 Conference Coverage In the short space of two years, the erstwhile fantasy of a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease has become reality. Or so it seems. At the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, Randall Bateman, Washington ...

Move Over CSF, P-Tau in Blood Also Tells Us There’s Plaque in the Brain

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-20 Conference Coverage From day one at this year’s AAIC, held July 14-18 in Los Angeles, conference halls and corridors buzzed with the sound of “p-tau.” Scientists from Randall Bateman ’s lab at Washington University, St. Louis, reported that among ...

Move Over Aβ, CSF P-Tau Tells Us There’s Plaque in the Brain

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-20 Conference Coverage Just as labs around the globe are racing to start marketing plasma Aβ tests, along come new contenders to rattle the field. At this year’s AAIC, held July 14-18 in Los Angeles, scientists reported that certain amino acids on the ...

Geneticists Seek Out Rare Contributors to Alzheimer’s

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-15 Conference Coverage At one end of the Alzheimer’s disease genetic spectrum lie the catastrophic mutations in APP and presenilin that lead to autosomal-dominant, early onset AD. At the other end are dozens of common variants that each contribute a smidgen ...

Rare Luck: Two Copies of ApoE2 Shield Against Alzheimer’s

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-08 Conference Coverage Mention ApoE and Alzheimer’s, and the conversation turns to the E4 allele, the strongest susceptibility gene for the disease. But ApoE has another side, in ApoE2. Though this isoform protects against AD, scientists have barely studied ...

Colombian Cohort Delivers Data on Blood NfL

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-08 Conference Coverage At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 14–18 in Los Angeles, a blood test indicating that neurons in the brain are degenerating generated considerable buzz. Eric Reiman, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Phoenix ...

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