Living with Alzheimer's | Alzheimer's Prevention Registry

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Living with Alzheimer's

Tau Protein and Alzheimer’s: Does This Protein Hold the Key to a Cure?

Tau protein tangles (or neurofibrillary tangles) are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, but what role do they play? First, you need to understand how a disease like Alzheimer’s spread across the brain. Degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias are “prion-like,” meaning they happen because proteins in the brain misfold and change their structure. Once one protein misfolds, the same process can spread to other parts of the brain, causing many cells to misfold. That results in what we call tau tangles. 

The Link Between Brain Plaques and Alzheimer’s: Everything You Need to Know

Researchers have been focusing on how brain plaque contributes to Alzheimer’s disease since Dr. Alois Alzheimer noticed strange clumps in a patient’s brain after her death. When toxic proteins like beta-amyloid and tau accumulate in the brain, they form plaques and tangles. Some researchers suggest these plaques and tangles resemble Swedish meatballs when examined under a microscope. Scientists are still looking into why some people have more plaques and tangles in their brains than others. However, they believe genetics and lifestyle choices play a role.

A Genetic Test That Reveals Alzheimer's Risk Can Be Cathartic Or Distressing

In a waiting room at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, a 74-year-old woman named Rubie is about to find out whether she has a gene that puts her at risk for Alzheimer's.

Leading Researcher Weighs in on Lewy Body Dementia Versus Alzheimer’s

Imagine being told you are living with Alzheimer’s disease only to discover you have been misdiagnosed and are suffering from another neurodegenerative condition. At 52 years old, Mike Belleville was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Several years later, he was reevaluated and learned he has Lewy body dementia (LBD), a disease many researchers believe is the second most common form of dementia, affecting an estimated 1.3 million Americans. Belleville is among a number of people who have experienced the pain of misdiagnosis and are living with what the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) calls “the most misdiagnosed form of dementia.”

Alzheimer's in extended family members increased risk of disease, study shows

It’s well established that having a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s increases a person’s risk of developing the disease. A new, NIA-supported study shows that even in the absence of close family members with Alzheimer’s, having extended family members with the disease increased a person’s risk. The findings, published April 9 in Neurology, could have implications for assessing risk using a broader view of family history.

Alzheimer’s drugs cost seven times more than cancer drugs to develop

The last US-approved Alzheimer’s drug—which was a new package of two existing drugs in a single pill—received the green light in 2003. In the nearly two decades since, there have been countless failures to develop any new treatment for the most common form of dementia. 

It seems like Alzheimer's but peek into the brain shows a mimic

Some people told they have Alzheimer’s may instead have a newly identified mimic of the disease — and scientists say even though neither is yet curable, it’s critical to get better at telling different kinds of dementia apart.

Stay Physically Active

Physical activity is a valuable part of any overall body wellness plan and is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline. If it’s safe for you, engage in cardiovascular exercise to elevate your heart rate. This will increase the blood flow to your brain and body, providing additional nourishment while reducing potential dementia risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.