The Stanford Center for Memory Disorders News
Do Nootropics Actually Work?
The resurgent popularity of nootropics—an umbrella term for supplements that purport to boost creativity, memory, and cognitive ability—has more than a little to do with the recent Silicon Valley-induced obsession with disrupting literally everything, up to and including our own brains. But most of the appeal of smart drugs lies in the simplicity of their age-old premise: Take the right pill and you can become a better, smarter, as-yet-unrealized version of yourself—a person that you know exists, if only the less capable you could get out of your own way. But do they work? Sharon Sha MD, MS, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford, provides comment.
Stanford announces new Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) Research Center of Excellence
In December 2017 researchers from across the country joined in the first-ever comprehensive network of research centers to conduct LBD clinical trials, provide community outreach, and expand professional continuing medical education. Representing 24 of medicine’s most prestigious academic medical research centers, these Research Centers of Excellence will help to streamline and standardize LBD science while connecting patients and families with the latest opportunities to participate in LBD clinical trials.
Clearing clumps of protein in aging neural stem cells boosts their activity
Young, resting neural stem cells have large protein clumps often associated with neurodegeneration. As stem cells age, the aggregates inhibit their ability to make new neurons, Stanford researchers say.
Blood, the Secret Sauce? Focus on Plasma Promises AD Treatment
In mice, infusing young blood rejuvenates the old, and even staves off some of the changes linked to Alzheimer’s. It’s too early to say if the same is true in people, but first results look encouraging. At the 2017 Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease meeting, held November 1–4 in Boston, Sharon Sha of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, presented results of a small Phase 1 trial in which patients with mild to moderate AD received infusions of plasma donated by young men.
Scientists aim to wipe out dementia and other diseases of aging
Scientist are developing therapies that can slow, reverse or prevent dementia and other diseases by targeting their greatest risk factor – aging itself. (article may require SF Chronicle Subscription)
Clinical trial finds blood-plasma infusions for Alzheimer’s safe, promising
In a small safety trial based on preclinical work by a Stanford researcher, participants receiving blood plasma infusions from young donors showed some evidence of improvement.
Aging Research: Plasma Protein Revitalizes the Brain
For centuries, people have yearned for an elixir capable of restoring youth to their aging bodies and minds. It sounds like pure fantasy, but, in recent years, researchers have shown that the blood of young mice can exert a regenerative effect when transfused into older animals. Now, one of the NIH-funded teams that brought us those exciting findings has taken an early step toward extending them to humans.
Study shows protein in human umbilical cord blood rejuvenates old mice’s impaired learning, memory
A single protein contained in human cord plasma boosted old mice’s brain function and cognitive performance, new research from Stanford shows.
Hack your brain to remember almost anything
According to a study published today, anyone can train their brain using the same tricks as the world's top competitors, reshaping their brain's networks in the process.
Memorization tool bulks up brain's internal connections, scientists say
Stanford researchers have found that teaching ordinary people a technique used by memory athletes boosted their memory abilities and made lasting changes in the organization of their brains.
Stanford Brain Rejuvenation Project
We have assembled a highly collaborative and multi-disciplinary team focused on harnessing a powerful new approach to discover, characterize, and utilize brain rejuvenation factors harbored in the blood to improve human health and to combat neurodegenerative diseases. Our team consists of a mix of junior and senior investigators from the schools of Medicine and Humanities and Sciences. Our team brings together a neurologist, geneticists, a chemist, stem cell biologists and neuroscientists all with distinct and complementary expertise and technologies.
Pilot study suggests therapy horses may aid people with dementia and their caregivers
The research team, led by Dolores Gallagher Thompson, PhD, and Nusha Askari, PhD, and Jacqueline Hartman at the Stanford Red Barn Leadership Program, found that supervised activities, such as observing herd behavior, grooming horses and leading horses with a lead and halter, helped participants recognize and use non-verbal forms of communication.
When It's Not Alzheimer's: The Differential Diagnosis of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration
The article is part of an ongoing series exploring the multiple differential diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is estimated to cause up to 10% of dementia cases, and is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s. Dr. Sharon Sha, clinical assistant professor of neurology and neurological sciences, is interviewed about the differences.
Creative Minds: A New Chemistry for Aging Research?
NIH director Francis Collins profiles Tony Wyss-Coray, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, who is studying the collection of proteins known as the communicome to track the aging process in mice.
Alzheimer's from a New Angle
The February 22, 2016 issue of Time Magazine covers the efforts of Dr. Longo and his team to develop a novel approach for Alzheimer’s therapy.
Stanford neurologist ponders her interest in the human brain
As part of the team at the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders, Sha is dedicated to studying ways to fight memory disorders and cognitive decline. “I think it’s fascinating to help people understand why” the brain isn’t functioning in the right way, she shares.
5 Questions: Frank Longo on Alzheimer's, new neuroscience center
In a recent interview, neurologist Frank Longo discussed Alzheimer’s disease, recent research breakthroughs and the new Stanford Neuroscience Health Center, which he co-leads.
Scientists reverse the cognitive effects of aging in mice
A cure for aging? A scientist behind a breakthrough technique seems to have found a way to reverse cognitive ageing effects on mice. Next, is to find out if it will work on humans.
Can we reverse the ageing process by putting young blood into older people?
A series of experiments has produced incredible results by giving young blood to old mice. Now the findings are being tested on humans. Ian Sample meets the scientists whose research could transform our lives.
Alzheimer’s Disease: What Stands Between Us and a Cure?
Our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease is better than ever before. So why are we still so far from a cure?
In this Q&A, Michael Greicius discusses the causes, onset, progression and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Greicius is an associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences and medical director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders.
Rejuvenating Old Brains with Young Blood | Tony Wyss-Coray | World Economic Forum
Might young blood be the fountain of youth? asks Tony Wyss-Coray from Stanford University. The Professor of Neurology says blood transports messages between different organs, and young blood may be able to boost health, recharge the old brain and halt cognitive decline.
Stanford to open Alzheimer's research center
A new Stanford ADRC will receive nearly $7.3 million in funding over a five-year period to conduct interdisciplinary research on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Victor Henderson, professor of health research and policy and of neurology and neurological sciences, will direct the center; Tony Wyss-Coray, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, will serve as co-director; Frank Longo, the George E. and Lucy Becker Professor and professor and chair of neurology and neurological sciences and Jerome Yesavage, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will serve as associate directors; and Michael Greicius, associate professor of neurology, will lead the center's imaging core.
Stanford-based Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center to be launched
Scientists find genetic underpinnings of functional brain networks seen in imaging studies
Imaging studies have delineated brain networks consisting of discrete brain regions acting in synchrony. This view of the brain’s functional architecture has now been confirmed by a study showing coordination at the genetic level as well.
Talking about "mouseheimers," and a call for new neuroscience technologies
Michael Greicius, MD, MPH, professor of neurology & neurological sciences at Stanford, researches Alzheimer’s and has a bone to pick with media hype about Alzheimer’s research conducted in mice. What the mice have shouldn’t be considered the same condition, he says, so he’s termed it “mouseheimer’s.”
Fighting to remember: U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, experts host panel on Alzheimer’s disease
A panel of experts discussed Alzheimer's disease and its effects on women Monday in San Mateo. The panel included Michael Greicius, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences and medical director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders, who is quoted here.
The gene variant ApoE4 puts women at higher risk of Alzheimer's disease
The number of women with Alzheimer's far exceeds that of men with the condition. Researchers at Stanford University found that carrying a copy of a gene variant called ApoE4 puts women at a substantially higher risk for Alzheimer's disease than men.
Are Women at Greater Risk for Alzheimer’s?
Neurologists Roberta Diaz Brinton and Michael Greicius discuss why it’s important to study women with Alzheimer’s as a distinct population, and why females might be more likely to develop the disease.
Brain scientists speak at Davos economic forum
Members of research teams created through the Stanford Neurosciences Institute's Big Ideas in Neuroscience initiative spoke Jan. 23 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Ageing research: Blood to blood
By splicing animals together, scientists have shown that young blood rejuvenates old tissues. Now, they are testing whether it works for humans.
Blocking receptor in brain’s immune cells counters Alzheimer’s in mice, study finds
Brain cells called microglia chew up toxic substances and cell debris, calm inflammation and make nerve-cell-nurturing substances. New research shows that keeping them on the job may prevent neurodegeneration.
Can Alzheimer's damage to the brain be repaired?
Longo and his colleagues have pioneered the development of small-molecule drugs that might be able to restore nerve cells frayed by conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Infusion of young blood recharges brains of old mice, study finds
Something in the blood of young mice has the ability to restore mental capabilities in old mice, which could spell a new paradigm for recharging aging brains.
Gene variant puts women at higher risk of Alzheimer’s than it does men, study finds
Carrying a copy of a gene variant called ApoE4 confers a substantially greater risk for Alzheimer's disease on women than it does on men, researchers have found.