Latest News & Events







8/23/16 People at Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease to Test Prevention Drugs

Banner scientists expect to screen about 80,000 people to find enough participants for the Generation Study. “People with a family history of Alzheimer’s are good potential volunteers for this study because they may carry the APOE ε4 gene,” said Jessica Langbaum, Ph.D., a BAI scientist and associate director of API. “We need more people to join to fight this devastating disease.”

7/24/16 Complex Jobs and Social Ties May Help Ward off Alzheimer’s

Work that involves complex thinking and interaction with other people seems to help protect against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research presented Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Toronto.

7/14/16 Research Consortium Aims to Speed Up Development of Alzheimer’s Therapy

Five drug makers, including Cambridge-based Biogen Inc., are banding together with academic scientists to form a research consortium aimed at speeding development of therapies for Alzheimer’s, a neurological disorder that has stubbornly eluded treatments.

6/28/16  Pat Summitt, Tennessee Basketball Coach Who Emboldened Women’s Sports, Dies at 64

Pat Summitt, who was at the forefront of a broad ascendance of women’s sports, winning eight national basketball championships at the University of Tennessee and more games than any other Division I college coach, male or female, died on Tuesday. She was 64.

6/9/16 Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Increase of $400 Million

The full Senate Appropriations committee approved a fiscal year 2017 spending bill that would increase Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health by $400 million, a significant step forward toward the 2025 goal set by the Administration and a major victory for achieving medical progress for the millions currently with Alzheimer’s and the many who will be affected in the near future.

5/25/16 Could Alzheimer’s Stem From Infections? It Makes Sense, Experts Say

Could it be that Alzheimer’s disease stems from the toxic remnants of the brain’s attempt to fight off infection? Provocative new research by a team of investigators at Harvard leads to this startling hypothesis, which could explain the origins of plaque, the mysterious hard little balls that pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

4/3/16 2016 Facts & Figures Report 

How much of their own money do families spend to provide for the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s? Are families prepared to handle the financial impact of Alzheimer’s disease? These questions and more are addressed in the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2016 Facts & Figures Report.

4/1/16 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Releases Pipeline Report

Rates of Alzheimer’s will increase in the coming decades, and the urgency to develop new therapies has never been greater. To check on the progress that is being made in the development of innovative medicines for Alzheimer’s, the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s researchers’ network has released an analysis highlighting 17 drugs currently in Phase 3 clinical trials that may be available in the next five years, offering hope to many patients and their caregivers.

3/17/16 We Need To Be More Open About Alzheimer’s Disease

Whether by Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive aging or both, declines in cognition can lead to problems making complex decisions about financial matters and other executive tasks. Short of cures, we’re going to have to live with the prospect of some cognitive decline. Our national plan for Alzheimer’s disease needs to address how we’ll live with our brains at risk of decline.

3/2/16 Why We Must Reframe How We See Alzheimer’s Disease

The complexity of Alzheimer’s and the non-uniformity of the disease from person to person have resulted in a gross misrepresentation of it. Society as a whole has significant misconceptions and expectations about what Alzheimer’s is and how it affects the individual and his or her family.

2/12/16 Some Brain Games May Grow the Size of Your Brain

An unfortunate part of healthy aging is that parts of the brain shrink over time. But a small new study,published in the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests that targeted, personalized interventions can slow or actually reverse some of that loss, even late in life.

2/5/16 Scientists Key Mechanism That Could Prevent Alzheimer’s-Related Memory Loss

We’re seeing some exciting progress being made in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and now researchers have found what they describe as a “key mechanism” in the onset of Alzheimer’s that could one day be blocked to preserve the memory function of those living with the condition.

1/31/16 Ruvo Clinic Joins Global Effort to Expand Trial Participation

The greatest hurdle to getting a clinical trial off the ground is recruiting enough participants in a timely manner. Recruitment for a one-year trial can sometimes take two years, but websites such as can cut that time in half.

1/5/16 The Battle Against Dementia: Could 2016 Mark a Turning Point?

A report presented at the World Innovation Summit for Health almost a year ago sounded rather grim. However, just when the future seemed irredeemably dark, pinpoints of light have appeared. In the months since the report was published, there has been a flurry of positive new announcements on both the research and the policy fronts, causing the share prices of some drug-makers to soar.

12/27/15 American Billionaire Chuck Feeney Pledges $177 Million to Fight Alzheimers

In an effort to address growing cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s worldwide, a billionaire philanthropist will donate $177 million to create a brain health institute, the Wall Street Journal reported.

12/22/15 Hillary Clinton Proposes Doubling Spending on Alzheimer’s Research

Mrs. Clinton has proposed a $2 billion-a-year investment in Alzheimer’s research, more than double the amount in the recently passed appropriations bill, to combat the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.

12/16/15 UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Applauds Major Increase in Funding for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research in Omnibus

The agreement reached between the House and Senate on a massive Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending package includes an increase of $350 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Alzheimer’s and dementia research.

12/8/15 Wanted: Brave Volunteers for Major Alzheimer’s Study

GeneMatch, an ambitious, national effort to recruit people at high genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, was launched Tuesday by the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix and will include a key role for University of Pennsylvania researchers.

11/28/15 Scientists Find Crucial Early Warning of Alzheimer’s That Could Improve Treatment

Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have identified a new molecular mechanism which directly contributes to synapse loss in the brain.  They are hopeful this discovery could eventually lead to earlier diagnosis of the disease and new treatments.

10/26/15 Costs for Dementia Care Far Exceeding Other Diseases, Study Says

For many families, the cost of caring for a dementia patient often “consumed almost their entire household wealth,” said Dr. Amy S. Kelley, a geriatrician at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York and the lead author of the paper published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

10/3/15 As a Father’s Alzheimer’s Progresses, Family Learns to Love Him as He Is

Beyond Greg O’Brien’s memory loss, he and his family are dealing with an unsettling reality. Alzheimer’s is, in some ways, changing who Greg is. And as soon as they get to know each new version of his personality, it changes again.

9/30/15 Are There Different Types of Alzheimer’s Disease?

new study, published in the August issue of the journal Aging, hypothesizes that Alzheimer’s is not a single disease but that it exists in three distinct sub-types – inflammatory, noninflammatory and cortical.

9/11/15 For Alzheimer’s Patients, Resveratrol Brings New Hope

Over the years, resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, chocolate and red wine, has been touted as a possible antidote to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes and many other conditions. Now, the first study in people with Alzheimer’s suggests that the compound, when taken in concentrated doses, may actually have benefit in slowing progression of this disease.

8/24/15 Alzheimer’s Grows on a Global Scale as World Societies Age

A new report on the global dimensions of Alzheimer’s disease says the overall shift toward older societies on the planet means that 9.9 million people will develop dementia every year, a faster pace than previously estimated.

8/6/15 People Developing Dementia Earlier

A study published in the Surgical Neurology International journal, compared 21 Western countries between the years 1989 and 2010. It found that the disease is now being regularly diagnosed in people in their late 40s and that death rates are soaring.

7/31/15 Making Dementia Friendly Communities the New Normal

Formation of the Dementia Friendly America Initiative was announced on July 13th at the White House Conference on Aging.  This collaborative effort is fostering dementia-friendly communities across the United States that will support those living with dementia and their caregivers and families. More than 50 organizations have joined forces to make dementia friendly communities a reality across America.

7/14/15 Generic Version of Namenda Hits the Market!

Generic versions of the Allergan’s top-selling Alzheimer’s drug, the subject of a court battle over the company’s sales tactics, are now on the market.

6/25/15 Senate Appropriations Joins House in Calling for Significant Increases in Alzhemer’s Funding

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill, which contains a $350 million increase for the National Institute on Aging as part of an overall $2 billion bump for the entire National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Committee included additional language in its report noting that it expects a significant portion of the NIA increase to fund Alzheimer’s disease research.

6/14/15 International Alzheimer’s Prevention Study Expands

A five-year, international study into the genetic roots of the country’s sixth-leading killer is expanding. The TOMMORROW study, which is going on in about 50 locations in North America, Europe and Australia, tests a drug — one used to control diabetes — to see whether it could prevent, or at least delay, the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

5/27/15 A Charge To Presidential Hopefuls: A Plan for Alzheimer’s

Preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease must be a top health care priority. Medical innovation has changed HIV so that it is no longer a death sentence, and in the past year we’ve found a cure for Hepatitis C. Why can’t Alzheimer’s be next?

5/12/15 Research Reveals Tau-linked Changes in Cell- and Network-based Activity

Researchers from Bar-Ilan University and the University of Edinburgh were able to characterize for the first time changes in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease that occur inside individual brains. Results from the study published in the journal Neuron suggest that Alzheimer’s-affected cells result in a reduction of electrical activity throughout the cerebral cortex — the brain’s center of higher mental function and cognition.

5/5/15 ‘New Clarity’ Against Alzheimer’s

Rudy Tanzi tells the Harvard Gazette, “I feel like this is the most exciting single year, between the Alzheimer’s in a dish and the Biogen result, since the discovery of the last major Alzheimer’s gene in 1995. So it’s the most exciting year in 20 years.”

4/15/15 Rudy Tanzi Honored by Time Magazine

Leading researcher, Dr. Rudy Tanzi, has been named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015.

4/1/15 Bill Would Empower Alzheimer’s Patients, Families

Senator Debbie Stabenow has introduced bipartisan legislation — the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act — to help combat Alzheimer’s disease and support those suffering with this terrible illness. If the bill becomes law, it will ensure that patients with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis — and their families — have access to a Medicare funded care-planning session with their doctor.

3/25/15 Mayo Researcher Appeals for Increased Alzheimer’s Funding

Dr. Ronald Petersen did not promise the Senate Special Committee on Aging a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in 10 years. But on Wednesday, the Mayo Clinic’s director of Alzheimer’s research held out hope for highly effective treatments in a decade if the government significantly increases its investment in research.

3/24/15 Alzheimer’s Association Releases 2015 Facts & Figures

The 2015 Facts & Figures Report reveals that only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis by their doctor. In contrast, more than 90 percent of people with the four most common cancers (breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer) say they were told the diagnosis.

3/20/15 Biogen Drug Offers Hope for Patients with Alzheimer’s

A glimmer of hope emerged Friday from Cambridge biotech Biogen Idec Inc., which said early-stage study results showed an experimental drug slowed the mental decline of a small number of patients who had early indications and mild cases of the neurodegenerative disorder.

3/4/2015 Emory’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center to receive $25 million

Emory University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is to receive $25 million to fund advanced research into the early detection of the disease. The Emory Center is one of only 13 such comprehensive research centers supported by the National Institutes of Health and the only one in the Southeast.

02/23/2015 Global CEO Initiative Applauds Cameron’s Leadership and Bold Action on Dementia

UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced new plans on Saturday to tackle dementia in the The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 the UK Government’s bold dementia agenda for the next five years.  The Challenge envisions that by 2020 England will be the global leader in dementia care and research related to dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

02/10/2015 Promising Alzheimer’s Research Stalled by Lack of Volunteers

Dr. Robert Stern says the progress is slow; and it’s a problem he says isn’t unique to his study. While he and other medical researchers are studying new experimental drugs, other scientists continue to search for the most effective way to recruit volunteers for Alzheimer’s drug studies. Their work, too, has been slow to materialize results. Finding enough study participants remains one of the largest impediments to progress in Alzheimer’s treatment research.

01/23/2015 Still Alice, Still Greg, Still Enduring

At only 59 years of age, Greg O’Brien was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s after a serious head injury doctors say unmasked a disease in the making. Years earlier, he watched as Alzheimer’s devoured his maternal grandfather and his mother. Now it’s coming for him.

01/18/2015 Banner Alzheimer’s Institute: 2015 Webinar Series

Banner Health presents Dementia Dialogues, bringing dementia education to you online! Scheduled each third Wednesday, Dementia Dialogues offers a different, pertinent webinar topic each month. For those who are not comfortable with the Internet or who don’t have access, an exclusively audio version is offered as well.

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