Photo courtesy of Hui-Chen Lu/Indiana University

Indiana University research identified a tiny molecule that may signal the presence of some types of dementia. Researchers say this could be a first step to developing an early test for Alzheimer’s.

Unlike regular "messenger RNA," which direct cells to produce specific proteins, microRNA plays a regulatory role, increasing or decreasing the number of proteins that messenger RNAs encode. 

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

Alzheimer's Researchers, Patients Pick Up The Pieces After High-Profile Eli Lilly Failure

Jan 13, 2017
Sarah Fentem / Indiana Public Broadcasting

In her words, there were a lot of tears. Siemers says some researchers had worked for a decade on this single molecule.

“After you’ve put a lot of your own blood sweat and tears into one of these programs — it’s been a little bit tough on people,” says Siemers.

It made for a very somber Thanksgiving,” says Ferrell.

Big Financial Costs Are Part Of Alzheimer's Toll On Families

Mar 30, 2016

First, Alzheimer's takes a person's memory. Then it takes their family's money.

That's the central finding of a report published Wednesday by the Alzheimer's Association on the financial burden friends and families bear when they care for someone with dementia.

Music Helps Alzheimer’s Patients Access Memories

Feb 4, 2016
ent at Linn High School, helps Beverly Milburn with her music selection at Linn Community Nursing Home. Beier and other students volunteer with the program, which uses music to soothe people with Alzheimer's disease.
MARCY OEHMKE / Linn High School

Clay County, in north central Kansas, has the nation's highest rate of people on Medicare diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. At 22 percent, it’s roughly double the rate in surrounding counties, as well as state and national averages.

The Linn Community Nursing Home north of Clay Center is one of about two dozen in Kansas participating in a program called Music and Memory. Residents with Alzheimer’s are given iPods loaded with music tailored to their preferences.


How Strong Friendships Defy Dementia

Jan 9, 2016
Betty Udesen / YES! Magazine

Alice Padilla’s laugh cut through the air at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Fresh off an hour-long exhibit tour, she and 16 other friends sat in the zoo cafeteria, snacking on sugar cookies and mocking current bestsellers. The group could appear to be just another cluster of friends visiting the zoo. But they were there for another purpose, too: to provide joy as much as support. Part of a program called Momentia, more than half of the people in the group have dementia.

Dr. Malaz Boustani
Eskenazi Hospital

Dr. Malaz Boustani, an Alzheimer’s specialist at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, wants to radically change the way mental health care is delivered. He believes the current state of the field is untenable, because so many are not getting the treatment they need. Only 41 percent of adults with a mental illness and 63 percent of adults with a severe mental illness received mental health services in the past year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

As Latinos Age, the Need for Spanish-Speaking Caretakers Grows

Nov 10, 2015
Eilis O’Neill

Luis and Miriam Sierra are originally from Colombia, but they’ve lived in New York City for decades. About ten years ago, Miriam began to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

It’s necessary to help her with everything: bathing her, dressing her, feeding her,” said her husband,  Luis Sierra. “It’s very hard.”

Can A Cancer Drug Reverse Parkinson's Disease And Dementia?

Oct 19, 2015

A drug that's already approved for treating leukemia appears to dramatically reduce symptoms in people who have Parkinson's disease with dementia, or a related condition called Lewy body dementia.

A pilot study of 12 patients given small doses of nilotinib found that movement and mental function improved in all of the 11 people who completed the six-month trial, researchers reported Saturday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

Oscar buzz surrounds Julianne Moore for her role as Alice Howland in the film Still Alice. Howland is a linguistics professor who develops early-onset Alzheimer's, a cruel irony for a character who makes her living with her brain.

Howland's awareness of her fate makes her decline all the more painful to watch.

Often, though, patients and their doctors can be slow to recognize dementia, which most often progresses gradually.