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Alzheimer's Prevention Bulletin

Can Vitamin E Supplements Prevent Dementia?

Does your daily routine include vitamin E and selenium supplements? Many people began taking the antioxidants after a study suggested they may lower the risk for dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. 

But are the antioxidants effective in preventing Alzheimer’s? The results of a recent clinical trial may answer that question.

 

Ask the Expert

This month’s expert is Jessica Langbaum, PhD, Principal Scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative.

Dear Dr. Langbaum,

I’ve already joined GeneMatch, but is there anything else I can do to help with Alzheimer’s prevention research?

Sincerely,

Nancy

Take the Father's Day Challenge

Toss aside the ties and tools this Father’s Day and give the men in your life – fathers, brothers, uncles and more – a gift that could make a difference for generations. Top Alzheimer’s prevention researchers are encouraging men to take a few minutes this Father’s Day to join the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry and GeneMatch.

The Power of Placebo in Alzheimer's Disease Research - Alzheimer's Prevention Bulletin

The original plan was a simple observational study, recalled William J. Burke, MD. It was more than 20 years ago that the geriatric psychiatrist set out to measure the impact of a certain drug on inflammation in the body. But, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had a different idea on how to approach the study. They recommended Dr. Burke add a placebo group. He agreed and that change made all of the difference to the study.

“At the end of the study, we broke the blind and learned who was taking the drug and who was taking the placebo,” Dr. Burke said. “It turned out the people who were doing really well were the people taking the placebo.”

This was Dr. Burke’s introduction to the power of placebo.

Amyloid and Anxiety: Is it Safe to Share PET Results?

Researchers know the presence of amyloid in the brain is a key pathological marker of Alzheimer’s disease. They also know amyloid begins accumulating in the brain decades before any memory and thinking problems emerge. 

Today, a specific kind of positron emission tomography (PET) scan can detect the presence of amyloid in the brain. Researchers conducting Alzheimer’s prevention trials often use this PET scan to learn if study participants have amyloid plaques in their brains. 

But can these scientists safely share amyloid PET results with prevention trial participants without causing depression or anxiety? A research team recently undertook a study to answer to that question and more. Join us as we explore what these researchers learned about sharing amyloid PET results and anxiety. 

 

Ask the Expert: The Importance of PET

This month’s expert is Jeffrey Burns, MS, MD, Co-director of the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Dear Dr. Burns,

Can you help me understand how positron emission tomography (PET) is different from other imaging technology? What’s the role of PET in Alzheimer’s research? 

Study Estimates Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Scientists continue to search for genetic and non-genetic risk factors for developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. 

This month's Alzheimer’s Prevention Bulletin highlights a new study – the largest to date – that examines how one genetic risk factor, the APOE e4 gene, affects our risk of developing MCI or dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease by age 85. 

Ask the Expert: Why Can't I Learn My Results?

This month’s expert is Beth McCarty Wood, MS, LCGC, Senior Genetic Counselor, Telegenetics Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
 
Dear Ms. McCarty Wood,
 
I submitted my DNA to the GeneMatch program, but they say I can’t learn my APOE test results unless I’m enrolled in a study that requires me to learn them. Shouldn’t I be able to find out the results of my own DNA?

Get Involved. Keep Your Brain Engaged.

It’s like when we learned dark chocolate is good for your health. Researchers are now telling us being social may help maintain our brains. It’s true. People 50 years and older who are more socially active tend to have better brain function. But, researchers also have learned that certain types of social activities benefit the brain. This Alzheimer’s Prevention Bulletin focuses on how getting socially involved can boost brain health. Sweet, right?

Ask the Expert: After Retirement

I just retired from an interesting career that kept me active and engaged for 40 years. How can I keep my brain as challenged as it was when I was working? Do I need to be concerned about losing what I’m no longer using?