Alzheimer's

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A new long-term care facility for older adults in Allegheny County could be the first of its kind, according to local mental health professionals. It will serve aging patients living with neurological and psychiatric conditions.

The 45-bed unit at Kane-Glen Hazel Regional Care Center in Hazelwood provides a nursing home environment while also treating the special emotional and physical needs of patients, including those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Jennie Dorris’s four music students each stood, mallets in hand, behind a marimba, which looks a little like a xylophone. They were getting one last look at the original melody they wrote before Dorris erased it from the dry erase board and they had to play it from memory.

Matt Rourke / AP

Linda Deafenbaugh’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 48. The couple lives in Ohioville, Beaver County and Deafenbaugh has been her husband’s primary care giver for the last seven years.

Now 55, he can’t be left alone and Deafenbaugh said she often feels overwhelmed. That’s why she attended one of the seven Alzheimer’s disease forums held by Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne.

“To find out what’s available, as far as resources, and also to put word out there that in the rural areas, there is nothing,” Deafenbaugh said.

University of Pittsburgh

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have helped develop a diagnostic blood test for Alzheimer ’s, which could make it easier and cheaper to detect the disease.

Pitt collaborated with researchers at the Center for Biomedicine in Italy and the University of Chile.

Neurology professor Oscar Lopez said the test will help doctors differentiate between Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 FM WESA

This month, Pittsburgh-based Sharp Edge Labs partnered with a Japanese pharmaceutical firm to expand research that could cure a small percentage of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma CO., Ltd. is pairing with Sharp Edge in its research looking at protein trafficking, which is the movement of proteins within a cell to the receptor for which they were created.

An experimental drug dramatically reduced the toxic plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, a team reports in the journal Nature.

Results from a small number of patients who received a high dose of the drug, called aducanumab, hint that it may also be able to slow the loss of memory and thinking.

'21 Voices' Tells Stories Of Families Impacted By Alzheimer's

Mar 16, 2016
21 Voices / Facebook

The documentary short film, "21 Voices: Touched by Alzheimer's," currently in pre-production, is committed to shining a light on the devastating emotional and financial effects of this growing epidemic, The film will feature interviews with 21 people impacted by the illness including the family of our guest Joe Massaro III whose father Joseph Massaro Jr. died from Alzheimer's on December 30, 2015.   

Michael Chen / flickr

LM11A-31 is being called the Alzheimer’s Pill and has the potential to be a game-changer in finding a cure for the disease. Joining us to address its possible impact, as well as local research into finding a cure for Alzheimer’s is Susan Catalano, chief science officer of Cognition Therapeutics.

Alyssa L. Miller / Flickr

Experts hope to learn more about Alzheimer's disease by studying adults who suffer from it and also have Down syndrome.  

The National Institute of Aging (NIA) is funding a five-year study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as with three other partners, in the hope of exploring the development of the biomarkers of Alzheimer’s. They'll also be looking at cognitive function in adults with Down syndrome.

Searching For An Alzheimer's Cure

Sep 3, 2015
Pittsburgh Life Sciences

A Pittsburgh-based company is about to move its Alzheimer’s disease drug out of animal tests and into humans. “It’s exciting and humbling,” said Hank Safferstein Cognition Therapeutics CEO of the upcoming clinical trials.

The South Side company is chasing after a drug that will be effective in combating Alzheimer’s disease.

The process used in finding such a drug is a rare one that focuses on “creating the disease in a dish,” Safferstein said while appearing on WESA’s Essential Pittsburgh.

Alzheimer's Research in an "Unprecedented Era of Innovation"

Oct 13, 2014
Clear Thoughts Foundation / Facebook

  

In addition to National Breast Cancer Awareness, October is also Alzheimer’s Disease  Awareness Month

Our guest, Hayley Jameson is founder and president of the Clear Thoughts Foundation which raises funds to discover drugs and treatments to stop dementia and eventually end Alzheimer’s.

Also taking part in the conversation is Dr. Susan Catalano, chief science officer of Cognition Therapeutics which is focused on finding new medicines to stop Alzheimer’s.

Rosie O'Beirne / Flickr

    

 

"The  majority of what makes the disease difficult is the emotional toll. It’s a 24hr job," says Suzanne Weessies.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can take an emotional, physical and financial toll on caregivers. We’ll address the services available and particular concerns of caregivers with Karen Schaeffer, founder of Age and Dignity, which provides education and guidance for families. Also taking part in the conversation is Suzanne Weessies Family Services Coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA Chapter.

For caregivers or for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's who need support or information, contact the 24/7 Alzheimer's Association hotline. 1.800.272.3900

A study out of the University of Pittsburgh has found similar brain abnormalities in concussion and Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Saaed Fakran, an assistant professor of neuroradiology at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the study, said it's too early to make any conclusions based on this research, but he hopes to follow up on it.

The study looked at concussion patients ranging in age from 12 to 28 who have had some sort of trauma, persistent abnormality but have a conventional CT and MRI.

University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Research

May 28, 2013
Rick / Flickr

Millions of Americans suffer from Alzheimer's Disease and the number is expected to increase. Researchers at Pitt have recently confirmed a cancer drug that improves brain function in mice. Could this be a breakthrough in helping humans?