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How Are Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease Related

Microprotein And Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias: Research Challenges and Opportunities

Having identified a microprotein associated with a higher risk of Alzheimers disease, the researchers followed up on their discovery by carrying out studies in rats and cell culture experiments.

They found that the SHMOOSE microprotein accumulates in the mitochondria of neurons , where it binds to the inner mitochondrial membrane protein mitofilin. The SHMOOSE microprotein appears to act on the brain by influencing mitochondrial gene expression and boosting mitochondrial oxygen consumption. The researchers noted that mutated SHMOOSE microprotein was less effective at boosting oxygen consumption and impacted gene expression differently.

Dysregulated mitochondrial associated brain energetics is one of the multiple pathways thought to be important for Alzheimers disease, Andrew Saykin, PsyD, ABCN, Professor and Director of the Center for Neuroimaging and Indiana Alzheimers Disease Research Center, told MNT.

George Perry, Ph.D., Professor and Semmes Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, told MNT that this study is very important as it links risk of to cellular metabolism. There are numerous cell biology and biochemical studies that highlight this and finding genetic data further support this view.

Who Has Alzheimers Disease

  • In 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimers disease.1
  • Younger people may get Alzheimers disease, but it is less common.
  • The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
  • This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
  • Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60, and the risk increases with age.

Does Memory Loss Mean Dementia Is Starting

One common misbelief about memory loss is that it always means you or a loved one has dementia. There are many causes of memory loss. Memory loss alone doesnt necessarily confirm a diagnosis of dementia.

Its also true that some memory changes are normal as a person ages . However, this type of memory loss isnt functionally disabling meaning, it doesnt interfere with daily life.

Dementia interferes with your ability to function. Dementia isnt forgetting where you left your keys. A person with dementia can have situations like forgetting what keys are used for. Dementia isnt a normal part of aging.

Also Check: How Long Can You Survive With Dementia

Are There Different Types Of Dementia

Dementias can be divided into three groups:

  • Reversible dementia-like symptoms caused by other illnesses or causes.

Primary dementia

Types of primary dementia include:

Dementia due to other diseases and conditions

Other causes of dementia include:

Dementias due to reversible causes

Some conditions can cause dementia-like symptoms that can be reversed with treatment, including:

How Is Dementia Treated

Understanding Alzheimer

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, speak to doctor or nurse practitioner.

It is important to have this conversation early to get more information, be connected to resources, and treat reversible causes of dementia such as thyroid problems or some vitamin deficiencies.

Speaking with your doctor early is an important first step. Alzheimers disease does not have a specific cure, but treatments can help slow progression or lessen the burden of symptoms.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking support from family, friends, and community groups is important for quality of life.

Recommended Reading: When To Put Alzheimer’s Patient In Facility

My Take On The Possible Opportunity

Anavex has undoubtedly sold off like so many other biotech companies have at this point, having come down well from its 2021 highs. With such big readouts ahead, I believe the company would be trading elsewhere in a bull market. Obviously we are not in one.

Price chart evolution

The market opportunities for Alzheimerâs disease and Parkinsonâs disease are gigantic, with respectively 13.5 million and 2.4 million patients in the US and Europe combined. The estimated total healthcare cost for the treatment of Alzheimerâs disease in 2020 is estimated at $305 billion, with the cost expected to increase to more than $1 trillion as the population ages. The Parkinsonâs market is expected to triple by 2029, with sales expected to reach $11.5 billion. With a market cap of $711 million, clearly there is quite a bit of upside to this stock in case of a positive readout in Alzheimerâs or Parkinsonâs disease.

Analysts have much higher price targets in mind for Anavex than the current share price. And I believe that the upcoming readouts will in any case give direction to the share price.

Analyst price targets

Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented

As the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not clear, there’s no known way to prevent the condition.

But there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:

These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health.

Read more about preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Recommended Reading: How Quickly Does Dementia Progress In The Elderly

Who Gets Alzheimers Disease

Anyone can develop Alzheimers disease, but it is more common in older age.

Genetics, lifestyle and health factors are associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.

In a few cases, Alzheimers disease is inherited, caused by a genetic mutation. This is called familial Alzheimers disease, with symptoms occurring at a relatively young age. This is usually when someone is in their 50s, but sometimes younger.

Can Dementia Be Prevented

What is dementia with Lewy bodies?

Although dementia cant be prevented, living a health-focused life might reduce risk factors for certain types of dementia.

Keeping blood vessels clear of cholesterol buildup, maintaining normal blood pressure, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, staying at a healthy weight basically, staying as healthy as you can can keep your brain fueled with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at its highest possible level. Specific healthful steps you can take include:

  • Follow a Mediterranean diet, which is one filled with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and shellfish, nuts, beans, olive oil and only limited amounts of red meats.
  • Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Keep your brain engaged. Solve puzzles, play word games and try other mentally stimulating activities. These activities may delay the start of dementia.
  • Stay socially active. Interact with people, discuss current events, and keep your mind, heart and soul engaged.

Recommended Reading: Test To See If You Have Alzheimer’s

What Is Dementia And What Is Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia refers to a set of symptoms and signs associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that affects daily activities. It is caused by various brain diseases and injuries. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia constitute other common types. Symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, judgement and reasoning problems, and changes in behaviour, mood and communication abilities.Footnote 4

How Many Canadians Live With Dementia Including Alzheimer’s Disease And How Many Are Newly Diagnosed Each Year

According to the most recent data available , more than 402,000 seniors are living with dementia in Canada . This represents a prevalence of 7.1%. About two-thirds of Canadian seniors living with dementia are women. Annually, there are approximately 76,000 new cases of dementia diagnosed in Canada. This represents an incidence of 14.3 new cases per 1,000 in the senior population . The incidence is higher among women than men. The prevalence and the incidence increase with age, as does the differential in prevalence and incidence estimates between men and women .

Table 1:

Prevalence and incidence of diagnosed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, among Canadians aged 65 years and older, by age group and sex, Canada, 20132014

15.8 14.3

Notes: Data do not include Saskatchewan’s data. The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values which is likely to include the true value 19 times out of 20.

Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories, April 2017.

Over a ten-year period , the age-standardized prevalence of dementia increased by 21.2%. During the same period, fluctuations in incidence have been observed. Drug data, one of the criteria used for case identification , became available in Alberta and Prince Edward Island in 20092010, which contributed to the temporary peak in incidence that year. Since then, incidence data suggest a decline .

6.1 14.3

Read Also: What Do Alzheimer’s Patients Remember

Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and terminal disease that currently has no known cure. The good news is that there are treatment options that reduce the severity of its symptoms and improve the functioning of a person with this condition.

The following drugs have been approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of different symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors: These are used to improve symptoms of cognitive decline and dementia in people with Alzheimer’s. These include drugs such as Exelon , Aricept , and Razadyne
  • Aduhelm : This works by eliminating amyloid proteins, which have been found to be built up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and potentially cause the condition.
  • Namenda : This is typically used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. It’s thought to work by regulating a chemical messenger called glutamate, which helps rescue its harmful effects on the brain.

Funding Opportunity Announcement Concepts Planned For Fiscal Year 2023

What is the difference between Alzheimers and Dementia?

We are excited to share with you the research concepts approved by NINDS Council for fiscal year 2023. Please note that this page with be updated periodically with links when funding opportunities are published. These are also announced via our email listserv .It is important to note that a cleared concept doesnt definitively mean that an award mechanism or funding allocation is imminent or even going to happen. Nothing is official until FOAs are published in the NIH Guide.



Training Award to Promote Cross-Training in the Fields of Traumatic Brain Injury as a Risk Factor for Alzheimers Disease/Alzheimers Disease Related Dementias RFA-NS-22-061. This funding opportunity encourages applications for short-term mentored career enhancement awards to further understand TBI as a risk factor for AD/ADRD.


Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Prion-Like Aggregate Seeding, Propagation, and Neurotoxicity in AD/ADRD PAR-23-023. This purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to solicit applications that propose mechanistic studies in animal, cell culture, and/or human tissue models to elucidate the mechanisms by which prion-like processes in AD/ADRD are initiated, propagated, and ultimately lead to neurodegeneration and circuit dysfunction.


Also Check: Signs Or Symptoms Of Dementia

Understanding The Causes And Mechanisms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Neuroimaging InitiativeThe Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative was established in 2004 to find new ways to diagnose and predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. VA researcher Dr. Michael Weiner is founder and principal investigator for ADNI. Weiner is affiliated with the VA-University of California Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases located at the San Francisco VA Health Care System.

The $67 million initiativefunded by the National Institute on Aging and other partnersseeks to identify brain changes linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The funds are administered by a VA nonprofit corporation, the Northern California Institute for Research and Education . The program is coordinated by the Alzheimers Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI is now in its third phase, in which researchers are working to validate biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. ADNI-3 began in 2016 and will run through 2021.

ADNI-1 researchers found that people with Alzheimer’s disease can have high levels of a protein called beta-amyloid 42 in their brains. While dementia can result from any number of health problems, such as strokes, amyloid buildup happens only in patients with Alzheimer’s. At present, amyloid levels can be determined only through spinal taps or special diagnostic imaging.

My Take On The Science Behind Anavex 2

Anavex2-73 activates the Sigma-1 receptor protein. Anavex states that this receptor protein serves as a molecular chaperone and functional modulator involved in restoring homeostasis. Anavex 2-73 is supposed to lower the toxic accumulation of misfolded proteins, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Anavex states that those five factors are all involved in Parkinsonâs, Alzheimerâs, and Rett syndrome, and I would agree that that is so in any case for Alzheimerâs and Parkinsonâs disease, both ageing-related multifactorial diseases. Obviously the proteins involved in both are different however.

Mechanism of action publications

On July 31, 2022, Anavex reported that Anavex 2-73 countered expression levels of genes downregulated in both Alzheimerâs disease, Parkinsonâs disease and other degenerative diseases.

Mechanism of action slide

I will say at this point that I do not see where to exactly situate Anavex as a treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. At Alzheimerâs conferences, nowadays, participants are invited to vote on how comfortable they are with different disease paradigms: amyloid hypothesis, tau hypothesis, immune hypothesis, endolysosomal dysfunction hypothesis, mitochondrial dysfunction hypothesis, epigenetic dysregulation hypothesis, cell cycle hypothesis or âsomething elseâ. I would place Anavex 2-73 somewhere in between the mitochondrial dysfunction hypothesis and cell cycle hypothesis.

Read Also: How To Check If You Have Alzheimer’s

Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms develop gradually over many years and eventually become more severe. It affects multiple brain functions.

The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is usually minor memory problems.

For example, this could be forgetting about recent conversations or events, and forgetting the names of places and objects.

As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe and further symptoms can develop, such as:

  • confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places
  • difficulty planning or making decisions
  • problems with speech and language
  • problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
  • personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others
  • hallucinations and delusions
  • low mood or anxiety

Read more about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease And Related Dementias

What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?

Did you know that the number of older adults with Alzheimers disease is expected to nearly triple over the next 40 years? Learn whos at risk and steps you can take to raise awareness about Alzheimers and related dementias that cause memory decline and loss of independence.

Alzheimers and related dementias have wide-ranging impacts not only on those with the disease, their families and caregivers, but also on communities and health-care systems. Learn what communities, the public health workforce, health care professionals, and decision-makers can do to improve the lives of people who live with these illnesses.

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Impact On Families And Carers

In 2019, informal carers spent on average 5 hours per day providing care for people living with dementia. This can be overwhelming . Physical, emotional and financial pressures can cause great stress tofamilies and carers, and support is required from the health, social, financial and legal systems. Fifty percent of the global cost of dementia is attributed to informal care.

Drugs To Treat Alzheimer Disease

Cholinesterase inhibitors modestly improve cognitive function and memory in some patients. Four are available. Generally, donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine are equally effective, but tacrine is rarely used because of its hepatotoxicity.

Donepezil is a first-line drug because it has once-a-day dosing and is well-tolerated. The recommended dose is 5 mg orally once a day for 4 to 6 weeks, then increased to 10 mg once a day. Donepezil 23 mg once a day may be more effective than the traditional 10 mg once-a-day dose for moderate to severe Alzheimer disease. Treatment should be continued if functional improvement is apparent after several months, but otherwise it should be stopped. The most common adverse effects are gastrointestinal . Rarely, dizziness and cardiac arrhythmias occur. Adverse effects can be minimized by increasing the dose gradually .

Memantine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist, appears to improve cognition and functional capacity of patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer disease. The dose is 5 mg orally once a day, which is increased to 10 mg orally twice a day over about 4 weeks. For patients with renal insufficiency, the dose should be reduced or the drug should be avoided. Memantine can be used with a cholinesterase inhibitor.

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Selected Major Accomplishments In Va Research

  • 2006: Established the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the San Francisco VA, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and UCSF
  • 2011: Demonstrated the effectiveness of an insulin-based treatment, using a special nasal delivery system, to possibly help ward off Alzheimer’s
  • 2014: Found that vitamin E, an inexpensive treatment, can significantly delay functional decline among patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s
  • 2019: Discovered a link between high LDL cholesterol and early-onset Alzheimer’s
  • 2020: Showed that patients with risk factors for both Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s are at greater risk of functional decline than those with only one factor
  • In rodent models, found that modulating a key enzyme involved in forming amyloid plaques in the brain could prevent Alzheimer’s
  • Launched a pilot program with NIH to increase Veteran participation in research on Alzheimer’s and related dementias

What Is Known About Alzheimers Disease


Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimers disease. There likely is not a single cause but rather several factors that can affect each person differently.

  • Age is the best known risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
  • Family historyresearchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimers disease. However, genes do not equal destiny. A healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers disease. Two large, long term studies indicate that adequate physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking may help people. To learn more about the study, you can listen to a short podcast.
  • Changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms appear.
  • Researchers are studying whether education, diet, and environment play a role in developing Alzheimers disease.
  • There is growing scientific evidence that healthy behaviors, which have been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, may also reduce risk for subjective cognitive decline. Heres 8 ways.

Read Also: When Should A Dementia Patient Go To A Nursing Home


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