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[Perspective] A path toward understanding neurodegeneration

Science

The specter of neurodegenerative disease, particularly Alzheimer's disease, haunts the developed world and exacts a poorly documented toll on underdeveloped countries. With so little progress made toward finding a cure--or, better, a prevention--it is time to rethink the path to progress. This requires a change in perspective on the type of research that will make a difference. The lesson learned from cancer research is that a new commitment means rethinking the fundamental approach to the disease. Cancer research moved from taking potshots with, usually, cytotoxic drugs to a bottom-up, mechanism-based approach in which newly acquired genetic knowledge played the largest role.


Dementia now leading cause of death

BBC News

Dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease, has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, latest figures reveal. Last year, more than 61,000 people died of dementia - 11.6% of all recorded deaths. The Office for National Statistics says the change is largely due to an ageing population. People are living for longer and deaths from other things, including heart disease, have gone down. Also, doctors have got better at diagnosing dementia and the condition is now given more weight on death certificates.


Prostate cancer & dementia: Do hormone blockers boost risks?

U.S. News

Some but not all previous studies that also reviewed medical records have also suggested the treatment may increase risks for dementia. Men in the current study were part of a larger study that included University of Pennsylvania patients and that found an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, one type of dementia. That study, co-authored by Nead, was published last December in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


op-ed-medical-innovation-is-a-matter-of-life-and-death

U.S. News

In the past many of the tests can create a blind spot, says Dr. John Gallin, director for the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. A smart fusion ultrasound system, for instance, combines MRI and ultrasound technology to act as a sort of GPS that helps a urologist check for prostate cancer and improves early detection. The GPS-like needle also plays a role in drug discovery and personalized medicine for more accurate tumor characterization, or biopsy, the NIH Clinical Center says. Gallin predicts that interventional radiological technologies, such as coronary artery CT scanning and PET scanning to detect Alzheimer's disease, will continue to minimize invasive activities in the surgery room.


Why the news on dementia deaths is not as bad as it sounds

New Scientist

Dementia has cemented its position as the leading cause of death in England and Wales, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. But part of the rise in dementia deaths can be explained by changes in how deaths are recorded. In fact, more people currently die from cancers than they do from dementia. The number of deaths due to Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia have been increasing for several years, accounting for nearly 13 per cent of all deaths registered in 2018. But part of the explanation for this apparent increase is two coding changes by the ONS in 2011 and 2014, to follow guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO).