Every week we scour the news for the latest headlines in Alzheimer’s stories, care, treatment, and prevention. Here are this week’s biggest stories for the week of August 13th 2012 – August 19th 2012.
A recent study had 90 elderly people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) drink a cocoa drink with different amounts of antioxidants called flavanols. Those who received high or medium amounts scored better on tests measuring attention and other mental skills. Although these results may not prove that increased intake of flavanols is for all patients with MCI, it suggests that it could affect cognition in people with MCI.
Evidence points to the buildup of β-amyloid, a protein toxic to nervous cells, as an underlying cause of Alzheimer’s in patients. Most Alzheimer’s patients have elevated levels of BACE1, an enzyme formed by β-amyloid. In a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers found that BACE1 also regulates a cellular process that contributes to memory loss. Creating a therapy that targets BACE1 would be “a double punch against Alzheimer’s disease.”