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news-and-notes

Health Talk Recommends: U.S. causes of death then & now

Of the many spectacular inventions of the 1900s, it’s safe to say we never may have made it to where we are today without radar, plastics or the once-revolutionary vacuum tube triode (responsible, in case you’re wondering, for launching the age of electronics).

Medical advances made throughout the 20th century, too, are nothing to bat an eye at.

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news-and-notes

U of M School of Nursing receives $3M for Alzheimer’s, exercise research

A $3.04 million study investigating the effects of a six-month aerobic exercise program on memory and brain function in participants with Alzheimer’s disease will be led by Fang Yu, Ph.D., R.N., G.N.P., associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Expert perspectives: Could new imaging advancements help unlock the mysteries of tau proteins in Alzheimer’s patients?

Last week, researchers from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan published findings in the journal Neuron signaling that they’d closed in on a diagnostic method to detect tangles of tau proteins previously linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

The work relies on a newly-developed chemical the researchers created that can actually bind to tau proteins in the brain. In turn, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning can then reveal any buildup of these tau proteins in patients suspected of having Alzheimer’s.

So just how big an advancement could this research be?

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news-and-notes

School of Nursing to host memory loss caregiver public education event this Saturday

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 94,000 Minnesotans over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s. Another 243,000 Minnesotans care for an individual with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The total cost of care associated with such conditions in Minnesota is $3.57 billion annually.

Unpaid caregivers provide the majority of care to patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 60 percent of those caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high. Worse, more than one-third of such caregivers report symptoms of depression.

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research-and-clinical-trials

U of M researchers examine protein potentially associated with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating neurological disease that affects an estimated 5 million people today. According to WHO, without a cure that number will balloon to an estimated 15 million by 2050.

New research has demonstrated the Alzheimer’s disease processes begins as early as 20 years before clinical symptoms appear, an asymptomatic period referred to as the “silent phase” of Alzheimer’s. This period occurs long before someone is diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Big Ten Network shines spotlight on U of M’s Alzheimer’s disease research

For more than 20 years University of Minnesota researcher Karen Ashe, M.D., Ph.D. has received international recognition for her groundbreaking Alzheimer’s disease research.

Ashe developed genetically engineered mice that exhibit early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. This allows Ashe and her team to study how the disease develops over time. By investigating specific brain proteins suspected to cause Alzheimer’s disease in humans, genetically engineered mice can help explain how Alzheimer’s develops.

Solving this molecular riddle will help Ashe better understand the disease, and inform her of where and when to intervene.

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