June 2014

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NIA: Volunteers Requested for Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials

The National Institute on Aging has a number of clinical trials and studies for which it has requested volunteers. If you know of any individuals or organizations that would be interested in learning more, they can go here.

On a similar note, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be holding a workshop entitled “Enrollment and Retention of Participants in NIH-Funded Clinical Trials” to explore strategies to enhance enrollment, recruitment and retention of participants in clinical trials. The workshop will take place on Friday, July 25, 2014. Go here for more info.

Scientists Map Path of Alzheimer’s-Linked Brain Cells in Mouse Models

In what is described as “like scaling Mount Everest,” scientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have for the first time successfully plotted the labyrinthine paths of cholinergic neurons, cells linked to Alzheimer’s disease, in laboratory mice. These large brain cells— which are common to all mammals—are the first to show degeneration in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding the structure of these neurons could offer researchers better insights into how Alzheimer’s affects the brain. The study is published in eLife.

Project Lifesaver International Holds Annual Conference This August

We wanted to share that Project Lifesaver International will be hosting its eleventh Annual Conference from Monday, August 11, 2014, to Thursday, August 14, 2014, in Orlando, Florida. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s and other disorders.

ACT-AD Responds to 21st Century Cures White Paper

ACT-AD submitted comments in response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures: Call to Action white paper. The comments acknowledge the FDA’s constructive engagement with ACT-AD on regulatory issues related to Alzheimer’s drug development and encourage further utilization of therapeutic repurposing for Alzheimer’s disease by the NIH, a combination approach to Alzheimer’s therapy and more flexibility in early stage clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. The comments are available here.

Study Reveals Possible Novel Therapy for Alzheimer’s

A possible new target for drug research into Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered by researchers at Penn State University. This discovery was published in the journal Nature Communications this month. According to lead researcher, Gong Chen, Ph.D., “Our studies suggest that reducing the excessive GABA inhibition to the neurons in the brain’s dentate gyrus may lead to a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. An ultimate successful therapy may be a cocktail of compounds acting on several drug targets simultaneously.” Read more here.

Memory in Old Age May Be Affected by History of High Blood Pressure

A new study published in the online edition of Neurology suggests a possible relationship between a history of high blood pressure, blood pressure in old age and its effects on brain structure, memory and thinking. It found that if an older person had a history of high blood pressure, they are at risk for memory and thinking problems. Interestingly, this is the case even if they have low blood pressure in their older years. For more on this research, click here.

$4.5 Billion Brain Research Report Receives Positive Response from NIH

A landmark brain research report has received the support of the National Institutes of Health. It calls for $4.5 billion to be invested into funding for brain research over the next 12 years. NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., called the report “bold and game changing.” If fully implemented, this would provide substantial benefits for Alzheimer’s research. For more, go here.

7th Annual FDA/Alzheimer’s Disease Allies Meeting Set for November 6th

Make sure you mark November 6, 2014 on your calendars. ACT-AD will host its 7th Annual FDA/Alzheimer’s Disease Allies Meeting for patient groups, regulators, researchers and industry at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Rd., Bethesda, MD 20852). This meeting will explore challenges related to clinical meaningfulness in therapeutic development for early Alzheimer’s disease. Check out this page for updates.