Monday, April 26, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease: NIH Conference

The videostream of the conference is quite good (requires RealPlayer), so drop in if you want to watcht the conference. Some good presentations so far.

Conference homepage

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease: NIH Conference

A reminder that tomorrow (Monday) you can watch the conference online. Information, including the programme, can be found at

If you tweet, the hashtag for the conference is #NIHAlz

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease: Watch NIH Conference Live Online

From the NIH:

NIH State-of-the-Science Conference: Preventing Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline - Day 1

View event: You will be able to view the event at when the event is live.

Air date: Monday, April 26, 2010, 8:30:00 AM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local


Description: For many older adults, cognitive health and performance remain stable, with only a gradual and slight decline in short-term memory and reaction times. Others, however, progress into a more serious state of cognitive impairment or into various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to investigating the causes and potential treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, researchers are focused on finding ways to prevent cognitive decline. Many preventive measures for cognitive decline and for preventing Alzheimer’s have been suggested, but their value in delaying the onset and/or reducing the severity of decline or disease is unclear. Be part of pivotal discussions that will help answer critical questions related preventing Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline.

Author: Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging Office of Medical Applications of Research

Runtime: 600 minutes

Webpage: click here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Brain Game: Brain Training Games

From the BBC:

The results: Brain training games don't make us smarter
Read article

From Nature News: Read press release

Watch (in the UK):
"Can You Train Your Brain?"
21st April, 2100 hrs:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease: Targeting the Blood-Brain Barrier

A news release from the NIH:

Targeting the Blood-Brain Barrier May Delay Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
12 April 2010
Researchers may be one step closer to slowing the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease. An animal study supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that by targeting the blood-brain barrier, researchers are able to slow the accumulation of a protein associated with the progression of the illness. The blood-brain barrier separates the brain from circulating blood, and it protects the brain by removing toxic metabolites and proteins formed in the brain and preventing entry of toxic chemicals from the blood.

"This study may provide the experimental basis for new strategies that can be used to treat Alzheimer’s patients," said David S. Miller, Ph.D., chief of the Laboratory of Toxicology and Pharmacology at NIEHS and an author on the paper that appears in the May issue of Molecular Pharmacology.


"What we've shown in our mouse models is that we can reduce the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in the brain by targeting a certain receptor in the brain known as the pregnane X receptor, or PXR," said Miller.

Read the full release

Friday, April 02, 2010

Congratulations Dr. Byron Rourke!

Windsor neuropsychologist Dr. Byron Rourke to receive The Order of Canada next week.

Read the article in The Windsor Star

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Donepezil and Aphasia

Chen Y, Li YS, Wang ZY, Xu Q, Shi GW, & Lin Y. [The efficacy of donepezil for post-stroke aphasia: a pilot case control study.] Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 2010 Feb, 49(2), 115-118.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of donepezil for post-stroke aphasia. METHODS: Sixty patients with acute post-stroke aphasia were divided into treatment group and a control group. All patients had been treated for secondary prevention according to the guideline. The treatment group received donepezil hydrochloride (5 mg/d) for 12 weeks. The efficacy of treatment was measured by comparing the changes of scores of Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) between baseline and 12 weeks later. RESULTS: Compared with the baseline, the changes of scores of all items of WAB and Aphasia Quotient (AQ) in both group after 12 weeks follow-up were great, however, the change of AQ was significantly greater in donepezil group (34.14 +/- 17.70)than that in control group (20.69 +/- 17.26)(P = 0.004). The patients in donepezil group also showed significant recovery in spontaneous speech, comprehension, repetition, and naming than those in control group (P < 0.05). The rate of significant improving in donepezil group was 60.0% which was significantly greater than that in control group (26.7%) (P = 0.009). CONCLUSION: There are spontaneous recovery of post-stroke aphasia within 3 months. Donepezil may facilitate the recovery in spontaneous speech, comprehension, repetition, and naming functions.

PMID: 20356506 [PubMed - in process]

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Neuropsychology Abstract of the Day: Scales to Measure Psychosis in Parkinson's Disease

Goetz CG. Scales to evaluate psychosis in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders. 2009 Dec; 15 Suppl 3, 38-341

Hallucinations and psychotic behaviors are a frequent non-motor aspect of Parkinson's disease and its treatment. These behaviors usually do not occur in the presence of the physician and are therefore difficult to rate. Further, because of their bizarre nature, hallucinations are frequently underreported by patients, and caregivers are often unaware of them until they become problematic. A number of scales have been developed for rating these behaviors, most of them borrowed or adapted from assessment tools used in other psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. In the latter disorders, however, hallucinations and psychosis are phenomenologically different than the typical hallucinations of Parkinson's disease. The Movement Disorder Society Task Force on Parkinson's Disease Rating Scales has completed a systematic critique of scales used in clinical trials focusing on hallucinations and psychosis. In this critique, the following scales met the criteria to be classified as Recommended: Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and Schedule for Assessment of Positive Symptoms. However, the Task Force felt that each of these scales has significant weaknesses and is insufficient to be considered a definitive rating tool. The Task Force officially recommended the development of a new scale to assess hallucinations and psychosis in Parkinson's disease. This effort is now ongoing with official endorsement by the Movement Disorder Society.

PMID: 20083004 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]