For most of us, February is a bitterly cold month bringing winter storms, short days and long nights. Thankfully, it is also a month that celebrates love and the sacrifices that people make for those they love.
We couldn’t think of a better way to close out the month than by sharing the latest Alzheimer’s disease developments and by honoring the caregivers, researchers and advocates that sacrifice their time, money and resources to fight the disease.
Here are 5 developments in Alzheimer’s awareness and research from February that we loved.
1. The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2015
This year’s Alzheimer’s Summit was held February 9-10 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The goal of the Summit was to “continue the development of an integrated multidisciplinary research agenda necessary to address critical knowledge gaps and accelerate the discovery and delivery of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s patients at all stages of disease.” The Summit was the first meeting since the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease launched in 2012. At the meeting, researchers discussed news ways of treatment and prevention as well as ways to improve research methods and capture better data.
2. “Still Alice” actress Julieanne Moore wins Best Actress at the Oscars
Julieanne Moore brilliantly captured the struggles of a woman and family coping with early onset Alzheimer’s in the novel turned movie, “Still Alice.” Julianne Moore was nominated for, and won, an Oscar for best actress in the movie. Advocates hope that this Academy Award will bring more awareness to the disease, reduce the stigma that often accompanies Alzheimer’s, and even potentially bring more funding to research.
3. Glen Campbell‘s hit Alzheimer‘s song, “I‘ll Be Me” Raises Alzheimer‘s Awareness
The Oscars continued to raise Alzheimer’s awareness by having Tim McGraw perform the Glen Campbell hit song, “I’ll Be Me” in which the legendary country music singer and songwriter wrote for his wife following his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The song was nominated for an Oscar and claimed a Grammy earlier this year. Following his diagnosis, Glen Campbell went on tour and played over 150 concerts while also filming a documentary about his life with Alzheimer’s.
4. Alzheimer’s Researchers Find Molecule That Delays Onset of the Disease
Researchers at the University of Cambridge found a naturally occurring molecule that can slow the accumulation of beta-amyloid clumps, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. While drug tests still need to occur to see if the molecule can be given in drug form, researchers are hopeful that the their findings show Alzheimer’s can be stopped in its tracks.
5. New Map of Human Genetics Contains Clues for Alzheimer’s and Cancer
A new gene map has led researchers to believe that genetic mutations linked to Alzheimer’s are actually active in immune cells instead of neurons. The research team from MIT said that if their findings hold in subsequent studies it means that genetic mutations linked to Alzheimer’s affect both neural processes and the immune system. They hope that future studies related to their findings will lead to new drugs that target the immune system of people at risk for Alzheimer’s.
What do you think about the latest Alzheimer‘s developments? Did we miss any important developments this month? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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