Groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Trial Featured on CBS News

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 26, 2015

Reisa A. Sperling, MD

Helene lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. Now, her sister is battling the disease. While Helene is not showing symptoms, scans of her brain show the buildup of amyloid plaques that are believed to lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.

CBS News interviewed Helene, who is participating in a groundbreaking international clinical trial that is the first to examine early treatment of older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease – with the hope of preventing memory loss before it begins. Led by Dr. Reisa Sperling, Director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s Disease (A4) Study is for people without symptoms, but whose brain scans show the buildup of amyloid plaques. The A4 study is currently enrolling 1,000 participants at 60 sites in the United States, Canada, and Australia. To learn more about the A4 study and other studies for Alzheimer’s disease, please contact the BWH Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment.

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Alzheimer’s Disease: Studying a Treatment while the Mind is Still Bright

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 13, 2014

Alzheimer's

The number of Alzheimer’s patients is likely to triple in the next 20-30 years, as people are living longer lives.

It is estimated that some 30 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. In the United States, over five million Americans, or one in nine, suffer from dementia in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Estimates say that the number of Alzheimer’s patients is likely to triple in the next 20-30 years, as people are living longer lives.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die. The disease can cause impaired memory, confusion, personality and behavior changes, impaired judgment, and impaired communication. Dr. Reisa Sperling, Director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) calls it the “epidemic of Alzheimer’s.”

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A Quest to Preserve Memories: Alzheimer’s Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 17, 2013

In observance of World Alzheimer’s Month, we’ve gathered recent posts about the work of our physicians who are leading research to understand and develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

New Approaches for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Reisa Sperling believes that earlier treatment, prior to development of symptoms, is key to helping people with Alzheimer’s disease. This approach is consistent with how we’ve made progress against other diseases, such as reducing cholesterol to prevent heart disease. Learn how Dr. Sperling is applying this approach to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Genetic Culprit Identified in Progression of Alzheimer’s

Thanks to some intercontinental teamwork, researchers have identified a gene that may help explain why certain Alzheimer’s disease patients experience a more rapid decline in cognitive (thinking) abilities.

 

 

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New Approaches for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 27, 2013

Dr. Dennis Selkoe and Dr. Reisa Sperling lead the Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment.

Alzheimer’s disease robs us of our most precious possessions — our memories.  And, like a robbery in the middle of the night, the theft can take place without us realizing it. Dr. Dennis Selkoe, Co-Director, Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Dr. Reisa Sperling, Director of the BWH Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, recently shared their insights into the latest medical research on Alzheimer’s disease at a lecture sponsored by the McCourt Foundation.

“Current therapies often provide patients with some symptomatic relief for a short period of time, however, none of these treatments slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Sperling. “With nearly 10,000 U.S. baby boomers turning 65 each day, the search for new Alzheimer disease treatments has intensified.”

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Alzheimer’s Treatment: A Race against Time

Posted by Blog Administrator April 10, 2012

woman with Alzheimer's disease

BWH researchers are looking at new treatment options for Alzheimer's disease.

Imagine that in the next three-to-five years you will go from being fully independent to needing help with dressing, eating, and other basic activities of daily living. Now imagine that you are given a medication that will enable you to retain your current skills, even improve a little. But, in six-to-nine months, you will likely begin to decline again. This is the life of someone who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Less than a handful of medications for Alzheimer’s disease are currently approved by the FDA. By and large, most people who take these medications see an improvement in their memory, other thinking abilities, daily functioning, and behavior for a short time, and then go on to experience further decline,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, a behavioral neurologist in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment who is focusing on clinical trials of new treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease.

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