Human Patients may Hold Great Promise in Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  February 16, 2017 at 3:22 PM Research News
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Population studies and other human-focused research suggests that one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other dementias can be reduced with changes to diet and other modifiable lifestyle factors.
 Human Patients may Hold Great Promise in Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia
Human Patients may Hold Great Promise in Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia

Nutrition researcher Neal D. Barnard and other speakers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Annual Meeting call for a new approach to research on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Since decades of animal experiments have failed to produce meaningful treatments or cures, the focus must shift to human-relevant research.

Ann Lam, senior medical research specialist at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and co-director of the Green Neuroscience Laboratory, Neurolinx Research Institute, said, "Research with human patients and populations holds the greatest promise."

In her talk, "Roads to Dementia Prevention: Leveraging the Past and Enabling the Future," Dr. Au will present on the historical significance of the Framingham Heart Study as well as her recent findings which show the untapped potential to better understand preclinical Alzheimer's using real-time data and other aspects captured with current technology. In addition, she will discuss the limitations of current diagnostic methods and how IoT can advance studies of modifiable risk factors for dementia and spawn solutions for precision health of dementia.

Dr. Barnard's talk "Alzheimer's Disease: Prevention Through Dietary Interventions," will provide an overview of the failures in translation from animal models in Alzheimer's research and the rapidly refining human-based approaches and clinical studies on prevention of dementia. He will present examples of global communities that are highly engaged in prevention research and are models of harmonizing traditional knowledge and perspectives on lifestyle factors. He will also describe how to better integrate nutrition and lifestyle factors into research design.

In her talk "The Need for National Engagement in Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Strategies," Dr. Langbaum will present an overview of the evolution and strategies of the state-wide Arizona Alzheimer's Registry to the nationwide Alzheimer's Prevention Registry and discuss the enormous potential of engaging citizens in science at the national level. She will also show how new infrastructure for prevention research can unlock potential for individuals to change perceptions on their role in research and educate participants in their impact in scientific discoveries and health policy.

Source: Eurekalert

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