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Editor's e-Note
Research into biomarkers of cell death in Alzheimer’s disease shows that levels of markers of neuronal injury increase in patients’ spinal fluid for 10 or more years before the onset of dementia. But surprisingly, they later reverse course and decrease as symptoms of memory loss and mental decline appear.

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— Barbara Worthington, editor
e-News Exclusive
Alzheimer’s Cell Death Biomarkers
Reverse Course After Symptom Onset

Three promising biomarkers being studied to detect Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages appear to undergo a surprising shift as patients develop symptoms of dementia, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.

Scientists use the biomarkers to assess brain changes linked to the disease in research volunteers. The levels of neuronal injury markers increase in the spinal fluid for a decade or more before the onset of dementia. But in a new twist, the research shows for the first time that they later reverse course, decreasing as symptoms of memory loss and mental decline appear. The study results appear online in Science Translational Medicine.

“We’re not sure why this reversal occurs, but understanding it may be very important for clinical trials of drugs to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s,” says senior author Anne Fagan, PhD, a research professor of neurology. “Changes in the levels of these biomarkers likely will be among the criteria we use to assess the success or failure of Alzheimer’s drugs, so we need to know how these biomarkers normally behave in the absence of treatment.”

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In this e-Newsletter
Tech & Tools
Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation
Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation therapy can lead to significant improvements for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. The device is designed to sense breathing patterns and deliver mild stimulation to a patient’s airway muscles to keep the passage open during sleep. After one year, patients using the device had an approximately 70% reduction in sleep apnea severity as well as significant reductions in daytime sleepiness. Learn more »

DETECTO Wheelchair Scale
DETECTO’s wall-mount wheelchair scale has a fold-up storage design with a profile of 6.6 inches. The digital scale features a bariatric weighing capability, stored wheelchair tare weights, 200 stored transactions, sturdy steel construction for long-lasting durability, a BMI calculator, an alphanumeric keypad, 14-digit patient IDs, and optional Wi-Fi for efficient EMR/EHR use. Learn more »
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Critical End-of-Life Communication
Providers must help direct end-of-life treatment decisions and facilitate patients’ and/or families’ choices via compassionate communication. Read more »

Wound Care Management
Interdisciplinary wound care management practices attract partnerships with referral sources and reduce the potential for wound-related litigation.
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Undertreating Pain
Data suggest pain in the elderly is widely underrecognized and undertreated despite significant physical and social consequences. Read more »
Other News
Sitting Linked to Increased Risk of Disability
Extended periods of sitting contribute to older adults’ increased risk of disability, according to an article by FOX News.

A Simple Step to Cut Diabetes Costs
Improving patients’ foot care can have a significant positive impact on controlling costs related to diabetes care, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

FDA to Overhaul Over-the-Counter Regulations
An article in USA Today notes that the FDA plans to revamp its regulations governing hundreds of over-the-counter medications.

Simpler Treatment for Sepsis Just as Effective
Researchers have found that for sepsis patients, no significant difference in survival rate occurs between patients on standardized protocols and patients who receive treatment under a particular physician’s direction, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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