July 2017

Save the Date for ACT-AD’s Tenth Annual FDA/AD Allies Meeting, November 16

Mark your calendars! ACT-AD’s Tenth Annual FDA/AD Allies Meeting is set for Thursday, November 16, 2017, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852). The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end by 4:00 p.m. To register for the event, go here.

ACT-AD Hosts Webinar on Alzheimer’s Disease Research Framework, July 25

On July 25, ACT-AD will host a webinar on the updated National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association Research Framework for Alzheimer’s Disease. The one-hour program will feature expert perspectives on the topic and will conclude with a moderated Q & A to allow participants an opportunity to ask questions. Clifford R. Jack Jr, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, and Paul Stephen Aisen, MD, of USC, will speak on the webinar. A registration page is available here.

Poor Sleep May Be Early Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease

A recent study found that sleep problems could signal that people who are generally healthy may have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. The study, published in Neurology, highlighted a connection between sleep issues and biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers studied a group of 101 individuals with normal cognitive skills, but were considered at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and examined their sleep quality. The research team found that people who reported sleep problems had a greater buildup of biological markers in spinal fluid samples they provided. To learn more about the study, go here.

Researchers Say App Could Improve Memory in People with Mild Cognitive Impairment

A research team at the University of Cambridge developed an app to improve cognition in people with “amnesic mild cognitive impairment,” which is considered a potential precursor to dementia. The researchers found the study’s participants who used the program improved their memory by 40 percent, compared to the control group. To read the full study in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, go here.

Plant Compound May Prevent Reduction in Cognitive Decline

Researchers at the Salk Institute say fisetin, a compound found in a variety of fruits and vegetables may aid in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Through a study of mouse models, scientists found that mice treated with the compound had reduced cognitive decline. While the effects of fisetin have only been examined in mice, the team signaled their findings could potentially apply to humans. “Mice are not people, of course,” said Pamela Maher, the study’s senior author. “But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally.” To read the full story, go here.

FDA User Fee Agreements Advance to the Senate

On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.2430, the FDA Reauthorization Act (FDARA) of 2017. FDARA reauthorizes the prescription drug, medical device, generic drug, and biosimilar user fee agreements, which are set to expire on September 30, 2017. Every five years, the FDA and industry negotiate to reauthorize the user fee agreements. Industry agrees to pay fees in exchange for FDA’s commitment to reviewing products in a timely manner and meeting other performance goals to improve the regulatory process. The user fee programs have helped reduce application backlogs at the FDA, introduced new approval pathways, fostered the development of innovative medical products, and transformed patient engagement activities at the agency. ACT-AD and its members have been working with the FDA and leaders in Congress to ensure that the user fee agreements include enhancements that streamline the development and review of new treatments and potential cures for Alzheimer’s disease. ACT-AD is now urging the Senate to vote on the bill to ensure that patients and their families continue to have timely access to breakthrough products. To read the bill, click here.

Dementia Innovation Readiness Index Released

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) released a Dementia Innovation Readiness Index on July 17, in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. As part of the release, GCOA called on leaders in Alzheimer’s and dementia policy, science and practice to pursue innovations that advance treatment, prevention, and care for dementia. The Dementia Innovation Readiness Index is the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of its kind across G7 countries. The full report includes contributions from ACT-AD’s Chair, the Alliance for Aging Research. The report can be found here. To learn more about the project, visit www.globalcoalitiononaging.com.

Science Advisory Board Member George Perry Creates Online Course on Alzheimer’s Disease

Science Advisory Board Member George Perry developed an online course at The University of Texas at San Antonio that emphasizes the progression of Alzheimer’s disease from molecular and genetic perspectives. This free course will give students the opportunity to “explore the history of Alzheimer’s disease and identify the major scholars who contributed to the advancement of the research in addition to helping them understand the correlation between clinical disease, morphologic changes and molecular pathways.” The course launches on August 28 and enrollment is open now. Learn more here.

NIH Hosts Summit on the Science of Caregiving

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will host a summit titled “The Science of Caregiving: Bringing Voices Together,” August 7-8, 2017 at the Natcher Building on the NIH Campus. The goals of the summit include: providing perspectives across the spectrum of caregiving, the importance of caregiving across the lifespan, and future directions for research to improve the health of patients and caregivers. The keynote speaker is Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour, and the Directors of Ceremonies are Gail Hunt of the National Alliance for Caregiving and Dr. Laura Gitlin of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at the Johns Hopkins University. This event is open to the public. To register, go here.

ADDF’s Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery, September 11-12, 2017

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation will hold its 18th Annual International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery in Jersey City, New Jersey. The two-day event will gather top researchers, who are developing innovative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Scholarships are available for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to attend the conference at no cost. More information about the scholarship can be found here. General details about the conference are available here.

AFA Hosts National Educating America Tour, September 14, 2017

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will host their “National Educating America Tour,” as part of their Concepts in Care Educational Conferences in Washington, D.C. (1526 New Hampshire Ave., NW). The free event will allow attendees to hear from experts on a variety of topics such as access to health care, long-term care, perceptions of aging, and research. Registration details can be found here.