Emory University Receives $25 Million For Alzheimer’s Research
With the gift, the center hopes to develop early “proof-of-concept” findings, enabling ADRC researchers to apply for funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources to more rapidly move innovation out of the laboratory and into the community. In recent years, cutbacks in research funding from the federal government and other sources has put increased pressure on researchers to find funding for new, early-stage projects. The center is one of just thirteen NIH-supported comprehensive research centers and the only such entity in the Southeast.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that in 2014 the cost of providing care for Alzheimer’s patients in the United States was $214 billion, including $150 billion in Medicare and Medicaid costs. If present trends continue, the total cost of caring for Alzheimer’s patients is projected to grow to $1.2 trillion annually by 2050.
The Importance Of Diversifying Alzheimers Research
When it comes to Alzheimers and dementia, Parker notes a lack of diversity in clinical trials will compound the racial disparities that already exist when it comes to treatment and diagnosis.
Although African Americans are roughly twice as likely than white Americans to develop Alzheimers and other forms of dementia, they are only 34 percent more likely to receive a diagnosis, according to data from the Alzheimers Association. The same discrepancy exists for Latinos in the U.S.: While Hispanics are about one and a half times more likely than their white counterparts to one day have Alzheimers or dementia, they are only 18 percent more likely to be diagnosed.
While more research is needed to fully understand why this discrepancy exists, studies indicate that the higher prevalence of Alzheimers and dementia among African Americans and Hispanics could be linked to, in particular, higher rates of two of dementias hallmark suspected risk factors, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
Exacerbating this increased risk, African American and Hispanic Alzheimers patients are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of the disease, meaning that symptomatic treatments and preventive lifestyle changes are less effective, so they will need more medical care off the bat, driving up health care costs for these families.
Beyond The Amyloid Hypothesis: Proteins That Indicate Cognitive Stability
If youre wondering where Alzheimers research might be headed after the latest large-scale failure of a clinical trial based on the amyloid hypothesis, check this out.
Plaques. Tangles. Clumps. These are all pathological signs of neurodegenerative diseases that scientists can see under the microscope. But they dont explain most of the broader trends of cognitive resilience or decline in aging individuals. Whats missing?
A recent proteomics analysis in Nature Communications from Emory researchers identifies key proteins connected with cognitive trajectory meaning the rate at which someone starts to decline and develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
This paper fits in with the multi-year push for unbiased Alzheimers/aging research at Emory. The lead and senior authors are Aliza and Thomas Wingo, with proteomics from biochemist Nick Seyfried and company.
The proteins the Emory team spotlights are not the usual suspects that scientists have been grinding on for years in the Alzheimers field, such as beta-amyloid and tau. Theyre proteins connected with cellular energy factories or with synapses, the connections between brain cells.
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Pilot Submissions Fy 2023
We are seeking applications that fit the overall mission of the Emory Center for Health in Aging, can be completed in 1 year, and require no more than $45,000 in direct costs. Pilots can include basic science, translational studies, and health services research. Cross-disciplinary proposals with investigators from more than one School or Department/Division are encouraged.
Alzheimers Disease Research Centers: National Research Centers Local Resources
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The Alzheimers Disease Research Centers offer local resources, support, and opportunities to participate in research on Alzheimers disease and related dementias. These centers are dedicated to developing and testing new ways to detect, diagnose, treat, and prevent dementia and to improving care for people with these diseases and their families. The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health funds more than 30 ADRCs at medical institutions across the country. Each center has specific scientific and population areas of focus.
A common goal of the centers’ network is to enhance research by sharing new ideas and results among the centers. By working collaboratively, the ADRCs have produced research findings and resources that have made significant contributions to addressing Alzheimers and related dementias.
For families affected by Alzheimers and related dementias, ADRCs offer:
- Help with obtaining diagnosis and managing your care
- Information about the diseases, services, and resources
- Opportunities for volunteers to participate in clinical trials and studies that contribute to improved understanding of dementia, which may lead to new treatments and better care
- Support groups and other special programs for volunteers and their families
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The Blue Spot: Where Seeds Of Destruction Begin
Neuroscientist and geneticist David Weinshenker makes a case that the locus coeruleus , a small region of the brainstem and part of the pons, is among the earliest regions to show signs of degeneration in both Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. You can check it out in Trends in Neurosciences.
The LC is the main source of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the brain, and gets its name from the pigment neuromelanin, which is formed as a byproduct of the synthesis of norepinephrine and its related neurotransmitter dopamine. The LC has connections all over the brain, and is thought to be involved in arousal and attention, stress responses, learning and memory, and the sleep-wake cycle.
Cells in the locus coeruleus are lost in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimers. From Kelly et al Acta Neuropath. Comm. via Creative Commons
The protein tau is one of the toxic proteins tied to Alzheimers, and it forms intracellular tangles. Pathologists have observed that precursors to tau tangles can be found in the LC in apparently healthy people before anywhere else in the brain, sometimes during the first few decades of life, Weinshenker writes. A similar bad actor in Parkinsons, alpha-synuclein, can also be detected in the LC before other parts of the brain that are well known for damage in Parkinsons, such as the dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra.
How Alzheimers Disease Research Centers Advance Research
ADRCs conduct research spanning from the causes of and risk factors for Alzheimers and related dementias to potential treatments to managing symptoms and helping families cope. Following are highlights of center activities:
Much of the important progress in Alzheimers research in the United States during the past 35 years stems from research conducted at or with the help of resources provided by the ADRCs. For example, center researchers have:
- Conducted a significant amount of the research on the processes behind amyloid plaque and tau tangle formation in the brain, which are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Characterized abnormal proteins associated with several different neurodegenerative diseases.
- Evaluated cognitive changes associated with normal aging and the transitions from early difficulties thinking and remembering to dementia.
- Identified factors that contribute to changes in cognitive abilities, such as social and physical activity.
- Related changes in brain structure to the clinical stages of Alzheimer’s using information gathered from participants during cognitive tests and assessments, brain imaging scans, and autopsies of donated brains.
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Emory Researchers To Develop Tools For Visualizing Brain Effects Of Alzheimers Disease And Autism Spectrum Disorder
Emory Health Sciences
Emory researchers are on the cusp of seeing in real time how brain diseases like Alzheimers and autism spectrum disorder affect a patients brain function. That window into the brain in turn will let them develop more effective medications to treat the more than 10 million people in the U.S. living with these still-baffling conditions.
Two grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health will fund development of novel positron emission tomography imaging probes for Alzheimers disease and autism spectrum disorder designed to show real-time brain activity that occurs during disease progression.
The awards will provide a total of $9.6 million over five years to support multidisciplinary teams collaborating through the new Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Center and the Radiopharmaceutical Discovery Program, both located in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences of the Emory University School of Medicine. Collaborating departments include Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Neurology, and Psychiatry.
As part of the autism-related project, cross-center and cross-departmental collaboration includes Larry Young, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience at the Emory National Primate Research Center.
From Promise to Profound Impact
Emory: A National Leader in Advanced Imaging Innovation
Winners Of The Innovations In Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards
Three Organizations From Across the US Receive $20,000 Each
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of the 15th year of the Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Bader Philanthropies, Inc., and Family Caregiver Alliance are pleased to recognize three organizationseach delivering a state-of-the-art program that addresses the needs of caregivers and those they care for living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related condition.
Each model program will receive $20,000 for their work in the following categories:
Amazing Grace Chorus West Walker Academy – St. Paul, Minnesota
Through the healing power of gospel music, the Amazing Grace Chorus serves to improve the lives of seniors living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and family and friend caregivers. The program helps to reduce isolation and increase opportunities for personal enrichment while simultaneously creating a trusted and culturally relevant space to encourage families to safely seek out dementia healthcare and support.
Library Memory Project Bridges Library System Waukesha, Wisconsin
The Alter Program Emory University School of Nursing – Atlanta, Georgia
View detailed information on the winning programs.
Innovations in Alzheimer’s Caregiving Awards Reception in Atlanta
Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2023 from 6-8 p.m.Location: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Regency V
Bader Philanthropies, Inc.
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Related Talks & Events From Uw Departments And Partner Organizations
Lecture videos-Allen Distinguished Investigators
Seattle Allen Brain Institute – Events
Quarterly Speaker Series presented by the UW Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, the Genetic Approaches to Aging Training Grant, and the UW Healthy Aging and Longevity Research Institute
UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute
UW Medicine Health
Emory Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
The Emory Alzheimerâs Disease Research Center is one of 27 active centers in the nation supported by the National Institutes of Health. . The goal of these centers is to bring scientists together to facilitate their research and help learn more about Alzheimerâs and related diseases. We are also committed to the education of health care professionals, persons with Alzheimerâs disease, their families, and our community to aid in understanding, diagnosis and treatment of these illnesses.
Memory, the ability of the brain to store, retain, and subsequently recall information is key to understanding Alzheimerâs disease and related dementias. We invite you to join us in our efforts to explore memory at Emory through an understanding of the importance of research to discover answers.
Research is crucial to gain more information about disease, provide better care, and ultimately, prevent the burden of neurological diseases for future generations. One particular area of interest of the Emory ADRC is a better understanding of mild cognitive impairment and early diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders. To gain this understanding, some of our studies need volunteers to investigate how memory changes with normal aging in those without Alzheimerâs disease.
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New Insight Into How Brain Cells Die In Alzheimers And Ftd
Removal of a regulatory gene called LSD1 in adult mice induces changes in gene activity that look unexpectedly like Alzheimers disease, scientists have discovered.
Researchers also discovered that LSD1 protein is perturbed in brain samples from humans with Alzheimers disease and frontotemporal dementia . Based on their findings in human patients and mice, the research team is proposing LSD1 as a central player in these neurodegenerative diseases and a drug target.
David Katz, PhD
The results were published Oct. 9 in Nature Communications.
In the brain, LSD1 maintains silence among genes that are supposed to be turned off. When the researchers engineered mice that have the LSD1 gene snipped out in adulthood, the mice became cognitively impaired and paralyzed. Plenty of neurons were dying in the brains of LSD1-deleted mice, although other organs seemed fine. However, they lacked aggregated proteins in their brains, like those thought to drive Alzheimers disease and FTD.
In these mice, we are skipping the aggregated proteins, which are usually thought of as the triggers of dementia, and going straight to the downstream effects, says David Katz, PhD, assistant professor of cell biology at Emory University School of Medicine. Read more
Emory University In Atlanta Ga
The Research Center of Excellence is part of the Emory Cognitive Neurology/Memory Clinic and the Emory Movement Disorders Clinic. These clinics provide evaluation and treatment of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimers disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinsons disease, Parkinsons disease dementia, and related disorders.
The Emory Movement Disorders Clinic has a dedicated full-time social worker who provides a range of services to assist patients and families. These services include assistance with assisted living placement, identification of senior day programs and respite programs, handicapped parking, coordination with all aspects of the disability process, and processing of related paperwork.
Emory has a range of relevant patient and family education and support groups including a Parkinsons disease support group, a support group for atypical parkinsonism, and The Early Memory Loss Group which is an eight-week class designed for people facing the many challenges of dealing with early memory impairment.
The Emory Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinsons Disease Research, in collaboration with the American Parkinsons Disease Association , organizes or participates in local PD activities. These include GA APDA monthly educational meetings, GA APDA sponsored exercise classes and GA PD Gladiators as well as local awareness and fundraising events.
Clinic name: The Emory Movement Disorders ClinicContact name: Kelsey Tucker
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Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers
The National Institute on Aging funds 33 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers at major medical institutions across the United States. Researchers at these Centers are working to translate research advances into improved diagnosis and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as working to find a treatment or way to prevent Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. In addition, NIA funds four Exploratory ADRCs that are designed to expand and diversify research and education opportunities to new areas of the country, new populations, and new areas of science and approaches to research.
For people and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the ADRCs offer:
- Help with obtaining diagnosis and medical management
- Information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias, services, and resources
- Opportunities for volunteers to participate in clinical trials and studies and research registries
- Support groups and other special programs for volunteers and their families
Data Management & Statistical Core
The Data Management and Statistical Core provides data management support and statistical and epidemiologic consultation to facilitate research of other cores and research projects utilizing resources of the Goizueta ADRC. The Core also facilitates local analyses and collaborations with the broader research community.
- John Hanfelt, PhD – Data Core Co-Leader
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The Importance Of Good Clinical Research And Good Clinical Care Is Greater Than One Might Think Emory University Alzheimers Researcher Dr Monica Parker Shares Her Story
This article is part of the series Diversity & Dementia, produced by Being Patient with support provided by Eisai.
Alzheimers and dementia research is personal to Emory Universitys Dr. Monica Parker: Her 96-year-old mother lives with the condition. But, her familial connection is not what directly led to her involvement in research.
Parker, an assistant professor in neurology and leader of the Minority Engagement Core at Emorys Goizueta Alzheimers Disease Research Center, dedicates her time to tackling a major challenge in developing therapies and care models for Alzheimers disease: improving diversity in clinical trial participantswork that has rightly earned her praise. In 2013, she took home the Emory Alzheimers Research Award.
A family medicine physician by training, Parker worked for 15 years in active clinical practice as a geriatric primary care provider at Wesley Woods Geriatric Center at Emory University, where there was a clinical lab for Parkinsons disease and dementia.
At the clinic, she worked alongside neurologists, whom she would observe as they treated their patients who complained of memory loss and came in for dementia evaluations, looking for even more ways to improve patients care.
So what was it about the older adults that was making them more vulnerable to death from this particular virus? she asked. You need diversity to understand and answer those kinds of questions.
The Emory Center For Health In Aging
The Emory Center for Health in Aging aims to identify, attract, and catalyze Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Emory-wide creative resources to promote the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health of older adults and to address the challenges that threaten their health and well-being.
Want to get involved? Learn more .
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Unbiased Approaches To Alzheimers
In recent news stories about Alzheimers disease research, we noticed a word popping up: unbiased. Allan Levey, chair of Emorys neurology department and head of Emorys Alzheimers Disease Research Center, likes to use that word too. Its key to a back to the drawing board shift taking place in the Alzheimers field.
Last weeks announcement of a link between herpes viruses and Alzheimers, which Emory researchers contributed to, was part of this shift. Keep in mind: the idea that viral infection contributes to Alzheimers has been around a long time, and the Neuron paper doesnt nail down causality.
Still, heres an example quote from National Institute on Aging director Richard Hodes: This is the first study to provide strong evidence based on unbiased approaches and large data sets that lends support to this line of inquiry.
What is the bias that needs to be wrung out of the science? The amyloid hypothesis has dominated drug development for the last several years. Amyloid is a main constituent of the plaques that appear in the brains of people with Alzheimers, so treatments that counteract amyloids accumulation should help, right? Unfortunately, antibodies against amyloid or inhibitors of enzymes that process it generally havent worked out in big clinical trials, although the possibility remains that they werent introduced early enough to have a decent effect. Read more