Alzheimer’s progression tracked prior to dementia

A long-term study of older adults led by Anne Fagan (right) has helped validate a new system for identifying and classifying older adults with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Many researchers think this stage of the disease, which can last a decade or more, is critical window for slowing or stopping Alzheimer’s treatments.

Sleep loss precedes Alzheimer’s symptoms

Sleep is disrupted in people who likely have early Alzheimer’s disease but do not yet have the memory loss or other cognitive problems characteristic of full-blown disease, researchers at the School of Medicine report. Shown is first author of the study, Yo-El Ju, MD,  an assistant professor of neurology.

Investigational drugs chosen for major Alzheimer’s prevention trial

Leading scientists have selected the first drugs to be evaluated in a worldwide clinical trial to determine whether they can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The pioneering trial, expected to start by early 2013, initially will test three promising drugs, each designed to target Alzheimer’s in different ways.

Study in mice suggests sleep problems may be early sign of Alzheimer’s

Sleep disruptions may be among the earliest indicators of the start of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report this week in Science Translational Medicine. David M. Holtzman, MD, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and head of the Department of Neurology, is the study’s author.

First detailed timeline established for brain’s descent into Alzheimer’s

Scientists have assembled the most detailed chronology to date of the human brain’s long, slow slide into full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. Through an international research partnership known as the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN), scientists at Washington University and elsewhere evaluated pre-symptomatic markers of Alzheimer’s disease in subjects from families genetically predisposed to develop the disorder.

$4.2 million grant helps plan, launch first Alzheimer’s prevention trials

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received nearly $4.2 million from the Alzheimer’s Association to accelerate the launch of the first clinical trials to prevent Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms become apparent. John C. Morris, MD, the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Professor of Neurology, heads the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network at the School of Medicine.

Carpenter strives to change ER experience

Emergency physician Chris Carpenter, MD, is conducting a study of patients in the emergency room who are older than 65 and at increased risk of having dementia. He wants to determine if referring suspected Alzheimer’s patients to an outreach agency will reduce frequent returns to the emergency department and help them remain independent longer.