Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a condition that many are familiar with because of its overwhelming impact and prevalence in the world. In the US, it is the sixth leading cause of death, with women making up almost two-thirds of those with the disease. While it is just one of many types of dementia, Alzheimer’s accounts for up to 80 percent of cases.

In addition to Aphasia Awareness [see previous post], June is also Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Led by the Alzheimer’s Association, the national observance is dedicated to increasing public awareness of AD through conversations among friends, families, and coworkers. The more people know about Alzheimer’s, the more action can be inspired in hopes of better treatments or a potential cure.

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Every 67 Seconds: Genetics in Alzheimer’s Disease

Mayeux_2012Genes passed down from generation to generation within families are the main culprit in contracting Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research for the disease is focusing on individual variations of these genes, instead of trying to find a “one size fits all” treatment.

That was part of the message delivered by Richard Mayeux, the Gertrude H. Sergieysky co-director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center. Mayeux’s talk on the role that genetics plays in Alzheimer’s disease last Thursday evening at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan came at an opportune time. November is both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month and National Epilepsy Awareness Month.

Mayeux, M.D., MS.c., who is also Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Epidemiology and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, has been featured in the New York Academy of Sciences podcast series, Dementia Decoded. His research on genomes aims to understand the differences in gene structure and what it could mean for future treatment.

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