Despite the progress being made on the Alzheimer’s disease front, awareness continues to be a huge issue—not only of the disease itself, but of what causes it and how it progresses.
The Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, Fla., raised awareness and understanding of Alzheimer's with its Second Annual Wellness Day. CAF Research Consortium Chairman Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D., spoke about the disease at a luncheon, which was followed by a lively Q&A. It was a full house with 120 attendees and the questions continued long after the event was over.
Our congratulations to Dr. Thomas C. Sϋdhof of Stanford University, a member of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund's Research Consortium, who joins Randy Scheckman of the University of California, Berkeley and James E. Rothman of Yale University in winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine as announced today.
Consensus among Alzheimer’s researchers about the origins of the disease is growing. Most, including members of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium, agree that a combination of factors, beginning with the excessive build-up of the peptide Abeta42 triggering the development of tau tangles, nerve cell death, and inflammation are all required for Alzheimer’s pathology.
A new study by David Holtzman of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund’s Research Consortium published by the journal “Science Translational Medicine” brings sharp new focus on the direct relationship between the accumulation of Abeta in the brain and notorious sleep problems associated with Alzheimer's disease. This NIH-funded study (also supported by Ellison Medical Foundation) was made possible by early pilot studies initiated by the Cure Alzheimer's Fund --- another great example of leveraging innovative research ideas into substantially funded, high impact projects.
Alzheimer’s research for many years has been dominated by a focus on Abeta “plaques,” a focus that largely has overlooked the other infamous hallmark of the disease—the tau-based neurofibrillary “tangles.” The research world recently has broadened its scope to include significant research into tau.
For the last 27 years, Abeta, a fatty protein that is created in the brain, has been identified as the leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the majority of efforts aimed at developing a cure have targeted Abeta as the enemy. But recent studies have indicated that simply wiping out Abeta in the brain is not the solution.