June 2021 Newsletter
How does one engage in brain research?
July 8th, 1pm ET, Mike Splaine presents the hows and whys of participating in brain health research. This presentation is helpful for anyone interested in research: those experiencing cognitive decline, family members and caregivers, and even healthy volunteers.
Read more about the presentation here, and please share the link with those who may be interested in brain health research
Aducanumab conditionally approved by FDA
The FDA conditionally approved Biogen’s Alzheimer’s treatment aducanumab using the accelerated approval program, meaning Biogen and partner Eisai will be required to complete further study to confirm the drug’s benefits and risks in order to stay on the market.
Aducanumab, which will be marketed under the name Aduhelm, is the first disease modifying drug approved for Alzheimer’s patients in nearly 20 years. It’s road to approval has been rocky, and many concerns remain on price, accessibility, and the rate of effectiveness across the AD spectrum.
While the treatment does not restore cognitive function, it has the potential to slow progression in some people. More importantly, there is a renewed urgency for increased Alzheimer’s research funding and diverse patient participation to cultivate new treatments that benefit a wide range of patients. Read more about aducanumab here.
Biogen may have flooded the headlines, but the real stars of the aducanumab story are the research participants and their families. Recruitment Partners applauds the courage to enroll in a study with unknown risks and uncertainty of receiving treatment or placebo. The aducanumab research participants and their study partners dedicated precious time and energy to move Alzheimer’s science forward, and for that we are grateful.
Race, Ethnicity, and Dementia
As dementia researchers place a higher priority on diversity, studies are showing that people of different backgrounds have different experiences with their disease.
AARP highlights recent findings regarding signs and symptoms experienced by Latinos diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, reinforcing the need for more minority participation in research. Read more at AARP
Brain Awareness Month
You can participate in many ways!
Participate in The Longest Day. June 20st is the summer solstice – the day with the most light. Participants from around the world come together to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice on The Longest Day.
Share prevention tips with friends and family, and do something for yourself to help maintain your heath. Even though there is debate in the research community around what causes AD specifically, we know for sure that good health can delay the onset of many types of dementia. So, take care to eat healthy, quit smoking, exercise, maintain (and make new!) social connections, and keep your brain active by learning something new!
Wear purple throughout the month and share stories to honor those who have had, and those who have been affected by, Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.
Change your profile photos to continue the conversation online. The Alzheimer’s Association’s Facebook page will give you the opportunity to change your profile to a purple theme.
Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website to learn more about activities on The Longest Day and throughout the month, fundraising events, and information about AD.
Do you have caregivers of persons with AD in your network that may benefit from participating in positive emotion research? Email us to receive a copy of the LEAF Study flyer and to discuss best ways to connect caregivers to the study, or visit the study website.
Caregiver support on-the-go
Tampa Boy Scout uses family experience to form his Eagle Scout project and to help other caregivers in the area.
What’s Happening in the Alzheimer’s Field?
A recent study out of Copenhagen reported findings suggesting that exercise may not only be effective at delaying dementia but may be an effective treatment. In a 16-week double blind study, participants in the control group had continued to deteriorate while those in the supervised exercise program had improved in some areas, including mental speed and attention. What type of exercise is best? To delay symptoms, any full body exercise that increases heart rate and circulation, like dancing, swimming, or cycling. Once one is showing symptoms of cognitive decline, safer, low-impact movement, like walking, gardening, and water aerobics, are recommended. Read more here.
Addressing Health Disparities
Funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association will be hosting a multi-day conference to support health equity in AD research and drive collaboration across dementia science, June 14-16. For more information, review the agenda, and register, visit the conference website here.