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New Hope for Alzheimer’s Treatment

From Science Alert

New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function. Of the mice that received the treatment, 75 percent got their memory function back.
New Hope for Alzheimer's Treatment
Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.

If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions – amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques.

Neurofibrillary tangles are found inside the neurons of the brain, and they’re caused by defective tau proteins that clump up into a thick, insoluble mass. This causes tiny filaments called microtubules to get all twisted, which disrupts the transportation of essential materials such as nutrients and organelles along them, just like when you twist up the vacuum cleaner tube.

As we don’t have any kind of vaccine or preventative measure for Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects 343,000 people in Australia, and 50 million worldwide – it’s been a race to figure out how best to treat it, starting with how to clear the build-up of defective beta-amyloid and tau proteins from a patient’s brain. Now a team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland have come up with a pretty promising solution for removing the former.

Publishing in Science Translational Medicine, the team describes the technique as using a particular type of ultrasound called a focused therapeutic ultrasound, which non-invasively beams sound waves into the brain tissue. By oscillating super-fast, these sound waves are able to gently open up the blood-brain barrier, which is a layer that protects the brain against bacteria, and stimulate the brain’s microglial cells to activate. Microglila cells are basically waste-removal cells, so they’re able to clear out the toxic beta-amyloid clumps that are responsible for the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks – a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

“We’re extremely excited by this innovation of treating Alzheimer’s without using drug therapeutics,” one of the team, Jürgen Götz, said in a press release. “The word ‘breakthrough’ is often misused, but in this case I think this really does fundamentally change our understanding of how to treat this disease, and I foresee a great future for this approach.”

The team says they’re planning on starting trials with higher animal models, such as sheep, and hope to get their human trials underway in 2017.

You can hear an ABC radio interview with the team here.

Related ArticleScientists Encouraged by New Alzheimer’s Treatment

Related Online Continuing Education Courses:

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Guide and Tips on Acute Hospitalization is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers strategies for managing the everyday challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease and includes tips on acute hospitalization.

Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: Intensifying the Research Effort is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews basic mechanisms and risk factors of AD and details recent research findings.

Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease is a 3-hour online CEU course that discusses practical issues concerning caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease who has mild-to-moderate impairment, including a description of common challenges and coping strategies.

Alzheimer’s: Unraveling the Mystery is a 3-hour online CEU course that describes the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, effective steps for prevention, strategies for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease, and the search for new treatments.

These online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account after purchasing) and mark your answers on while reading the course document. Then submit online when ready to receive credit.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Alzheimer's

 

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If You Knew Then What You Know Now: Hindsight for Caregivers

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They say hindsight is 20/20. If you could go back in time: what would you now as seasoned caregivers say to your novice self about how to be a caregiver?

 

If You Knew Then What You Know Now: Hindsight for CaregiversAs a seasoned caregiver of multiple elders, I can choose to torture myself with my perceived failures at being a perfect caregiver, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect, and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice.

 

Much like an adult who realizes that he or she has a “wounded child” living inside – a child who suffers from unearned self-blame or low self-esteem because of life events – many adult caregivers carry the guilt from their “infant” caregiving years to their grave. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone’s needs better, could have been more patient, would have done any number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now.

 

The very people who take on caregiving roles are often the most sensitive to other’s needs. Many also tend to be overly sensitive in other ways. Let’s face it. Whatever we do as caregivers seems to be wrong in the eyes of some lookers-on, generally people without all of the facts, and often people who couldn’t do what we do no matter what. Still, we are sensitive to their judgment.

 

We can decide not to be bothered by criticism from the outside. The problem is, we often aren’t aware that we are judging ourselves even more harshly than outsiders may judge us. This is particularly true in retrospect. We look back and beat ourselves up for slips, real or imagined, because we were novices and didn’t know what we know now.

 

What tips would you give yourself if you were starting fresh? You’d do your research, of that I’m sure. Government websites such as the Administration on Aging, the National Institutes of Health, plus disease specific websites and support sites such as AgingCare.com, all offer a wealth of information. Also, you’d use your local resources for in person support. You’d call your community Alzheimer’s organization, your Area Agency on Aging and watch for educational workshops. You’d take advantage of help that is available.

 

What Comfort Would You Give Your Novice Self?

 

You went into caregiving out of love and didn’t have the education to cope with specific issues, so you made mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Move on.

 

Believe that if your care receiver could be the person he or she was before getting ill, you would be told, “job well done.”

 

Remember precious moments rather than perceived mistakes. Remember the intimate times – times that remind you that you were fulfilling an important calling. Remember that you made a difference. Write yourself reminders of those rewarding times and read the notes when you start criticizing your earliest caregiving blunders – or even later ones.

 

Understand that imperfection is human, and your best was – and still is – good enough.

 

Please forgive the suffering caregiver inside of you as you would a friend. Again, I say you did your best given what you knew. Give that novice caregiver a spiritual hug, and a pass for being imperfect. If you do, you’ll leave room for your brain to focus on loving moments with the people you took care of.

 

Move on from self-imposed blame and admire yourself for stepping into the difficult role of being a caregiver and seeing it through to the best of your ability. What’s important in not what you did wrong along the way, but in the end, what you got right.

 

If you could go back in time: what would you now as seasoned caregivers say to your novice self about how to be a caregiver?

 

Source: http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/about-caregiving-in-hindsight-147804.htm

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in General

 

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CE Sale + Additional 10% Off!

Continuing Education Sale

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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in General

 

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New 3-Hour Web-Based Course: Alzheimer’s – Unraveling the Mystery

Alzheimer's - Unraveling the Mystery - New 3-hour online continuing education courseOne person out of eight will get Alzheimer’s by the age of 65 – and nearly half by the age of 85. Such shocking statistics drive the need to know all we can about Alzheimer’s, so we can better help our patients, their families, and ours.

Alzheimer’s dementia is a growing concern among the aging Baby Boomers; yet, modern science points the way to reducing the risks through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

This new continuing education course, Alzheimer’s – Unraveling the Mystery, is based on a publication from the National Institute on Aging, which describes healthy brain functioning during the aging process and then contrasts it to the processes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Full of colorful, detailed diagrams, this educational booklet describes the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, effective steps for prevention, strategies for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease, and the search for new treatments. Strategies for caregivers and reducing caregiver stress are also discussed briefly.

Course #30-54 | 2011 | 21 posttest questions | 5 page course download includes instructions, link to online document and posttest questions

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Learning Level: Introductory

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Posted by on January 26, 2011 in General

 

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