Brain Health Registry

Brain Health Registry

A groundbreaking online project developed by UCSF researchers to speed up clinical trials seeking treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, PTSD and other brain diseases and disorders.

The Brain Health Registry - led by top medical researchers at UCSF and other leading scientific institutions - is a groundbreaking web-based project designed to accelerate clinical trials seeking treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's, depression, PTSD, and other brain disorders. Participation is safe, easy and free. Go to www.brainhealthregistry.org to sign up today.

nytimes.com

Risk for Dementia May Increase With Long-Term Use of Certain Medicines

A recently published study on a class of drugs called "anticholergenics" shows a possible increased risk for dementia correlated with the use of these drugs.

nytimes.com Here’s what research suggests about a class of drugs called anticholinergics, which treat a wide range of ailments, from depression to bladder issues.

newatlas.com

New brain imaging study reveals signs of Parkinson’s decades before symptoms appear

New research that indicates that early detection of difference in serotonin levels can be an indicator of Parkinson's disease long before onset of symptoms.

newatlas.com A new study upends conventional thinking about the origins of Parkinson’s disease. The research reveals distinct changes in the brain’s serotonin system can be identified up to 20 years before any Parkinson’s symptoms appear, suggesting a new biomarker to detect the disease at its earliest sta...

massivesci.com

CRISPR nanoparticles are the next big hope in Alzheimer’s disease treatments

Review of some of the research on CRISPR and Alzheimer's disease!

massivesci.com Nearly 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease without solid treatment options.

medicalnewstoday.com

How frontotemporal dementia affects 'moral emotions'

A new test for fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) being developed that uses assessment of emotional response to test for the disease. This is a very interesting breakthrough in understanding FTD!

'Teichmann explains the motivation for the current study, saying, "We have known for a long time that [FTD] patients demonstrate impairment of emotion recognition and theory of mind, i.e., the ability to figure out the mental states of others: what they think, what they feel, what they like..."

"But does this emotional blunting also affect a specific kind of emotions called moral emotions, which are crucial for human interactions?" asks the researcher. To find out, the team designed a test for assessing moral emotions.

The test had 42 hypothetical scenarios. The respondent in the test has to choose one of the four possible answers, each of which concerns the feeling that the scenario might elicit.'

medicalnewstoday.com Scientists find a key difference between Alzheimer's and frontotemporal dementia: the latter affects a person's 'moral emotions' while the former does not.

thehill.com

There is a huge disparity in diagnosing Alzheimer's in black Americans

We are working to help address these issues. Stay tuned!

thehill.com To be sure, in all races and ethnicities, the burden of Alzheimer’s disease is critical to address, however, there is a heightened need to understand which communities will potentially bear disproportionate burdens of Alzheimer’s diseases.

theaggie.org

Artificial Intelligence Augments Analysis of Alzheimer’s Disease - The Aggie

A new joint research effort between UCSF, UC Davis, and Tsinghua University in Beijing!

“One of the major challenges is that by the time people have clinical symptoms, there is a great deal of brain damage,” said Laurel Beckett, professor and chief of the Division of Biostatistics in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis. “So we need to start treating people earlier – but how do you know if people are “at risk” or developing damage, or if treatment is helping if you can’t see symptoms? This motivated the use of biomarkers: brain imaging, and analysis of fluid samples such as cerebrospinal fluid or blood samples, combined with genetics.”

theaggie.org New machine learning tool could aid Alzheimer’s research In an effort to speed up Alzheimer’s research, researchers at UCSF, UC Davis and Tsinghua New machine learning tool could aid Alzheimer’s research

alz.org

June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month. Check out the really, really awesome campaign being run by the Alzheimer's Association!

alz.org Show your support for the fight to end Alzheimer's by going purple, sharing your story and taking action. Together, we can make a difference!

elle.com

Is an Alzheimer’s Cure on the Horizon?

'A challenge facing any Alzheimer’s drug trial that advances beyond the initial stages is finding participants. Researchers prefer to engage with people with no other medical issues, and among the aging population diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this is rarely the case. Another difficulty: Despite the fact that the disease can now be detected more definitively via an amyloid-focused brain scan, many people, like my grandmother, still don’t get diagnosed. (It doesn’t help that amyloid scans are typically not covered by insurance.) “But the biggest problem is that people are not aware of the clinical trials,” says John Dwyer, president of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation. Which is particularly unfortunate, since they remain patients’ best hope. “The fact is, the first person to be cured of Alzheimer’s will be in a clinical trial,” he says. “It won’t randomly happen.”'

elle.com A promising new vaccine from a family-led biotech company may crack the code.

beingpatient.com

Alzheimer's Facts and Statistics for 2019: Everything You Need to Know - Being Patient

A nice summary of what scientists know about Alzheimer's disease so far.

beingpatient.com Looking for interesting Alzheimer's facts and statistics? Every three seconds, someone is dianosed with Alzheimer's. Get more Alzheimer's facts here.

abc.net.au

How the internet may be changing your brain

Recent findings that correlate internet usage with different brain changes!

abc.net.au "For better or worse, we are already conducting a mass-scale experiment of extensive internet usage across the global population."

beingpatient.com

The Link Between Brain Plaques and Alzheimer's: Everything You Need to Know - Being Patient

What is "beta-amyloid" and "tau"? A summary of what scientists know so far about the primary cause of Alzheimer's disease -- brain plaques.

beingpatient.com Learn more about what may cause brain plaque and why scientists believe plaques and tangles in the brain lead to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

nia.nih.gov

Gene expression signatures of Alzheimer's disease

New research on changes in gene expression in people with Alzheimer's disease versus people without!

"Both neurons and supporting cells had gene expression patterns in the Alzheimer brains that weren’t seen in the control brains. One noteworthy difference was in the genes related to myelination, the process of wrapping a fatty coating around nerve cell fibers to help them transmit signals. Another was that men and women of the same age and disease severity had different gene expression patterns. The women’s patterns were more abnormal.

The team also compared differences in gene expression between early-stage and late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. They identified distinct changes in all the major cell types early in the disease process. Genetic signatures related to myelination were affected in most cell types, suggesting a key role in the disease."

nia.nih.gov Researchers built a resource of gene expression patterns from the brain cells of people who had Alzheimer’s disease. The resource may enable new advances in understanding how Alzheimer’s disease develops.

forbes.com

The Growing Crisis of Veteran Family Caregivers

"Family caregivers can struggle with the mental health needs of their loved ones who suffer from the challenges of TBIs or PTSD. Meanwhile, the VA system strains to keep up with the sheer volume of veterans now in the system with World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Iraq and Afghanistan veterans all seeking care and treatment.

There are many costs related to caregiving, both financial and personal. Families are torn on an economic front trying to make ends meet, juggling the dual full-time pressures of work and care while searching for the right alternatives to address the needs of their veteran family members. This generates stress and friction between parents and adult children, and between veterans and their spouses, as they struggle with issues related to home accessibility, functionality and the mobility of veterans.

To cope, families can start by learning as much as they can about the VA health care system. Caregivers should investigate the aid and attendant benefits that every veteran who served at least one day in wartime is entitled to but, sadly, might never have been told about."

forbes.com Long after they were welcomed home, many veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces remain scarred in both body and mind. Their special needs and challenges put increasing demands on family caregivers, leading to a growing caregiving crisis.

forbes.com

Scientist Says Just 30 Minutes Of Your Time Twice A Year Could Help Cure Alzheimer's

The man behind the Brain Health Registry! Check out an exclusive Forbes article on our efforts and an interview with Dr. Michael Weiner, our Principal Investigator.

forbes.com Through a series of questionnaires and brains tests involving about 30 minutes of a participant's time twice a year, the BHR can observe and study brain health changes over time and then use that information to accelerate brain health research.

Why I Participate in Alzheimer's Research - Kay's Story (Full version)

Kay lost her mother to the disease and worries since Alzheimer’s runs in her family. She is a vibrant older adult who hopes that by volunteering, she can inc...

brainhealthregistry.org

Brain Health Registry Newsletter - May 2019 | Brain Health Registry

Check out our May newsletter, covering some of our accomplishments!

brainhealthregistry.org This year, the Brain Health Registry celebrates its five-year birthday! Since early 2014, the Brain Health Registry has worked hard to create an excellent online experience for our participants that uses cutting edge web-based research methods. It is our continued aim to accelerate brain health rese...

forbes.com

So Far, Just One Thing Has 'Experimental Support' In Staving Off Alzheimer's

Though there have been numerous treatments tested and it is not bulletproof, it seems that the evidence is in support of lifestyle changes for helping with Alzheimer's disease.

forbes.com Scientists have made significant strides in the last two decades in understanding Alzheimer’s disease and learning more about who might be victimized by it, but they’ve suffered immense frustration by so many failed large clinical trials that they had hoped might treat it.

New research by Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner's team finds key Alzheimers proteins act as "prions" - misshapen proteins that spread through tissue like an infection by forcing normal proteins to adopt the same self-propagating, misfolded shape.

Through postmortem brain tissue samples from 75 Alzheimer’s patients, researchers discovered that the self-propagating prion forms of the proteins amyloid beta (Aß) and tau were most intense in the brains of patients who died young of aggressive or early-onset forms of the disease.

“I believe this shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that amyloid beta and tau are both prions, and that Alzheimer’s disease is a double-prion disorder in which these two rogue proteins together destroy the brain,” said Prusiner.

This new evidence could lead to therapies that focus on prions directly ➡️ http://tiny.ucsf.edu/phlJ2q

📷: The normal form of Aß is tagged with a yellow marker in these cells, making healthy cells a uniform pale yellow (left). Contact with prion forms of Aß — for example in extracts from human brain tissue — forces these yellow proteins into the sticky prion form as well, leading to the formation of bright yellow clumps (right). Credit: Prusiner lab / UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

New research by Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner's team finds key Alzheimers proteins act as "prions" - misshapen proteins that spread through tissue like an infection by forcing normal proteins to adopt the same self-propagating, misfolded shape.

Through postmortem brain tissue samples from 75 Alzheimer’s patients, researchers discovered that the self-propagating prion forms of the proteins amyloid beta (Aß) and tau were most intense in the brains of patients who died young of aggressive or early-onset forms of the disease.

“I believe this shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that amyloid beta and tau are both prions, and that Alzheimer’s disease is a double-prion disorder in which these two rogue proteins together destroy the brain,” said Prusiner.

This new evidence could lead to therapies that focus on prions directly ➡️ http://tiny.ucsf.edu/phlJ2q

📷: The normal form of Aß is tagged with a yellow marker in these cells, making healthy cells a uniform pale yellow (left). Contact with prion forms of Aß — for example in extracts from human brain tissue — forces these yellow proteins into the sticky prion form as well, leading to the formation of bright yellow clumps (right). Credit: Prusiner lab / UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

npr.org

After A Big Failure, Scientists And Patients Hunt For A New Type Of Alzheimer's Drug

Research into Alzheimer's disease treatment is steadily increasing, in spite of setbacks. Check out some new possible directions!

npr.org Now that so many experimental drugs targeting amyloid-beta have bombed, scientists are looking for different approaches for treating Alzheimer's, including a drug that failed as a cancer treatment.

cbsnews.com

Frontotemporal dementia: Devastating, prevalent, and little understood

cbsnews.com Bill Whitaker reports on FTD, a devastating illness and the most common form of dementia for Americans under the age of 60

forbes.com

Creating A Workplace Culture That Values Mental Health

Sometimes mental health can seem taboo to talk about; however, brain health and mental health are clearly connected. This taboo affects our ability to talk about symptoms of things like Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's, as well, but talking about it also empowers us to do something about it both as individuals and as communities.

"Recently, a Kentucky-based professional services organization provided positive evidence for the power of a leader’s voice in simply “starting the conversation” around mental health. Through a survey, the organization found that 90% of their employees struggled with mental health or knew someone who did, highlighting an opportunity to address the issue simply by promoting awareness and communication. Leading by example, the CEO spoke publicly about how he and his family were affected by poor mental health, while the company amplified the message broadly to its employees through multiple different touchpoints including a website and infographics. The organization also established a cohort of senior-level employees to conduct a deeper dive on the issue in order to better understand mental health challenges and how to implement solutions. After implementing these initiatives, 68% of employees reported that they spoke to someone about their mental health for the first time. The success of this example has been replicated in other industries and with other types of workforces around the world, demonstrating the powerful impact of corporate culture and leadership."

forbes.com Culture is a powerful tool to encourage healthy habits, and many companies have leveraged culture to successfully and cost-efficiently promote better mental health in the workplace by creating a culture that values mental health needs and providing support without stigma.

CIND | Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases

25 percent of the LGBT adults aged 50 and older in this study had subjective cognitive decline, a potential indicator of a future Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In comparison, only 10 percent of the overall population of the United States aged 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. This disparity is due to reduced access to health care, minority stress and lack of social support. Jason Flatt from UCSF School of Nursing is working on his expanding research program to uncover new insights about this understudied population to better understand its challenges and needs. Read more about the study on the article below.

https://scienceofcaring.ucsf.edu/research/dementia-study-first-series-health-needs-and-challenges-lgbtq-seniors

nytimes.com

How Exercise Affects Our Memory

Very interesting research relating exercise with memory ability.

"When people first begin exercising, he points out, their muscles strain and burn through energy. But as they become fitter, those same muscles respond more efficiently, using less energy for the same work.

The scientists suspect that, in the same way, the spike in brain activity after a first session of biking is the prelude to tissue remodeling that, with continued exercise, improves the function of those areas."

nytimes.com Even a single workout may make our brain’s memory centers, like our muscles, more fit.

sciencenews.org

A mysterious dementia that mimics Alzheimer’s gets named LATE

Alzheimer's disease misdiagnosis is surprisingly common; this is in part due to not knowing how to understand very similar diseases that are not Alzheimer's. This is a great step forward in understanding and will help with proper diagnosis and therefore treatment!

sciencenews.org An underappreciated form of dementia that causes memory trouble in older people gets a name: LATE.

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