Test for Alzheimer’s May Be Undermining Drug Trials


Flaws in a test used in clinical trials to assess patients could be undermining the search for a drug to treat Alzheimer’s.

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Brain Pacemaker Implanted to Treat Alzheimer’s

Brain Pacemaker

In November, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This device provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease. It is seen as a possible way of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline.

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Bearing a Male Child Can Alter a Woman’s Brain

A male cell (arrow), presumably fetal in origin, in the liver tissue from a woman with autoimmune hepatitis

A new study indicates that male DNA, left over from pregnancy with a male fetus, can persist in a woman’s brain throughout the rest of her life. Although the exact biological impact of the DNA is yet unclear, the study found that women with more male DNA in their brains were less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting that male DNA could help protect mothers from this disease.

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Microglia Are Crucial to Pruning Neurons During Early Development


Microglia are brain cells, who’s spider-like resting state was somewhat mysterious until Axel Nimmerjahn, biophysicist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, began to try and figure out what exactly they did. Microglia are part of the immune system and are particularly sensitive.

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Alzheimer’s Spreads Throughout the Brain by Jumping From Neuron to Neuron


A new study that was published in the February 1st issue of PLoS One suggests that the tau protein, which is indicative of the fibrous tangles in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, spreads from neuron to neuron, from one region to the other, resulting in severe dementia.

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