In the News – Proteins, Pedal Power and Promising results

Souvenaid, a milkshake-like drink made a splash in the papers this week as the results of the LipiDiDiet trial were announced. The story was covered by the BBC news online and numerous other news outlets. Souvenaid, which contains a special blend of essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients, showed mixed results in an early Alzheimer’s trial. Read our reaction to the trial here or uncover the full story on our Behind the headlines blog post.

Researchers in China showed the Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid, passing from the blood to brain. By physically attaching the circulatory systems of two mice, scientists found that amyloid present in the brain of one mouse could trigger features of Alzheimer’s disease in a separate brain via a shared blood supply. The story was covered in multiple news outlets with our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr David Reynolds, quoted in the Independent, and the Daily Express. Read our news piece including Dr Reynolds’ full reaction here.

Scientists in the US have found that regular infusions of blood plasma from young donors are safe to explore as a treatment option for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. The research story was covered by a plethora of Sunday papers, including the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph and includes a reaction from our Director of Research, Dr Carol Routledge. Read the full story here.

A study by researchers in the US has found that higher levels of inflammation in midlife were linked to a reduced size of brain areas linked to Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Our Director of Research Dr Carol Routledge, reacted to the breaking news in the Daily Express, the Times and the Daily Mail. She said:

“There is growing evidence that inflammation plays an important role in the development of Alzheimer’s. We cannot say whether inflammation could be causing brain shrinkage or if it is a response to other damaging processes that might be under way.

Read Dr Routledge’s full reaction to the new research here.

Promising findings from an extension to an early-stage clinical trial of a potential new Alzheimer’s drug have been announced at the Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) conference in Boston. The findings showed that people who received the drug, aducanumab, had lower levels of amyloid in the brain and a slower decline in memory and thinking skills. Dr Carol Routledge had this to say on the data presented:

“The results of this small extension study add to previous promising signs from the trial that aducanumab could act on underlying disease processes in Alzheimer’s.”

Find out more about the results and what they might mean for the search for new Alzheimer’s treatments here.

We have welcomed a government plan to speed up the way new treatments are introduced in the NHS. The plan takes forward several recommendations from last year’s Accelerated Access Review, which examined how cutting-edge medical advances could be made available to patients faster. The plan could have major implications for future dementia treatments. The story was covered by the BBC, and you can read our full reaction to the announcement here.

Also in the news

Olympic super couple Laura and Jason Kenny are urging people to put their pedal power to the test this winter by taking on our brand new virtual cycling event, launched this week. Leave dementia out in the cold this winter by cycling 300 or 1,000 miles and raising £150 before the end of January 2018. Read why the Kenny’s are backing this important new initiative and sign up here.

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About the author

Ed Pinches

Team: Science news